Friday, 30 November 2007

Comfort Food #3

It's cold, rainy and thoroughly awful. That means bringing out the big guns, comfort-wise. For us, that mean risotto and most of all, mushroom risotto. I love cooking risotto - the need to stir it all the time can only result in an enforced break from the usual hullabaloo of child-rearing, so tonight I waited until Karl got home from work, then set to.
I like a combination of dried and fresh mushrooms to make this risotto and this week we got a bag of beautiful field mushrooms in our vegetable box. They were just begging to be the star of the show. I like to use vermouth, instead of the more usual white wine, to make mushroom risotto because I love the slightly herbal depth it imparts. As a martini drinker, I keep vermouth in the drinks cabinet anyway, but don't consider it essential; just use a glass of the white wine you might like to drink with the meal.

Mushroom Risotto

30g butter
olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 stick celery, diced
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
200g risotto rice
glass vermouth (and see above)
handful dried porcini mushrooms 800ml hot vegetable stock
6 flat field mushrooms, sliced
fresh parmesan, grated

Pour 250ml boiling water over the dried mushrooms and leave them to soak. Melt half the butter with a drizzle of olive oil in a deep frying pan or sauteuse. Soften the onion and celery with the garlic, then add the rice and stir well to coat all the grains with the fat. Tip in the vermouth and cook for a minute or so to allow the alcohol to evaporate. Strain the porcini, reserving the liquid, and chop finely, then add to the pan. Then, add the mushroom soaking liquid and stir un til the riced has absorbed it all. Continue stirring all then time, adding the stock by the ladleful and allowing it to be absorbed before adding the next.

After you've put in 2-3 ladlefuls, add the sliced mushrooms then continue cooking in the same way. When the rice is cooked through (test as you go, scooping out a grain of rice with a fork), add some parmesan and the rest of the butter, cut into pieces. Give it all a good stir, then take the pan off the heat, cover it and leave it for a couple of minutes while you finish setting the table, tossing the salad etc.

1 comment:

Pharkie said...

Great recipe and thanks for the photo! Never thought to use vermouth.


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