Sunday, March 23, 2014

Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom Risotto
Since I moved away, I no longer eat rice, mainly jasmine, on a daily basis. While the types of starches I had diversified, I found myself on many occasions craving rice. Last night was risotto. I happen to have about 10 crimini mushrooms, some leftover dry white wine (Sauvignon blanc), chicken stock and arborio rice. I also had some duck confit from a few weeks back so I used duck fat instead of butter and supplemented my stock with some duck gelatin (when you collect drippings from roasting a duck or chicken, there is a golden layer of concentrated flavor under the fat that solidifies as it chills - I freeze and use it for things like rice or veggies). The duck fat and gelatin were a bit salty since they were from the duck confit so I minimized the salt I added. After adding the Parmesan cheese, it was just salty enough for me. 

Ingredients (enough for 3 - 4 side portions or 2 full portions)
2 tbsp duck fat (or butter)
2 tspb olive oil
2 cups fresh crimini mushrooms, finely chopped 
3 cups vegetable or chicken stock (I prefer low sodium)
1/2 cup dry white wine (like, but not limited to, Sauvignon blanc)
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove
1 tspb parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

1) Heat the duck fat (or butter) in a skillet over medium high heat. Add mushrooms and cook for 3 - 5 minutes until soft. Season to taste, remove from heat and set aside. 
2) Bring stock to a simmer over medium heat then reduce to low heat. You'll be adding this to the rice over time so you'll want to keep it warm without reducing the volume much. When I purchase shiitake mushrooms, I freeze the stems for stock as they add a nice earthy flavor. This would be a great addition while the stock simmers - just don't add the stems to the risotto. I didn't add any this time and it tasted fine.
3) Add the olive oil to a stock pot (2 quart was sufficient for me) and heat to medium. Add onions and garlic and sautee until soft but not brown. 
4) Add the rice to the onion/garlic mix and stir to thoroughly mix (1 - 2 minutes).
5) Add the white wine and stir until it is absorbed.
6) Add the stock 1/2 cup at a time and stir frequently to prevent sticking. Wait until each addition is absorbed prior to adding the next. After 25 - 35 minutes, when the rice is tender but not soft, add the mushrooms, Parmesan cheese, parsley and season to taste. 

I couldn't help but sample a bit while reheating the duck confit
I served my risotto with a delicious (and somewhat salty duck leg) and some honey roasted baby carrots.

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