Saturday, January 8, 2011

Weekend Cook: Mushroom Risotto

Baked Salmon with Mushroom Risotto
Time to again honor last year's resolution to eat fish at least once a week.  We fell off the wagon for only a few months in 2010, the best result ever.

This is a wild-caught salmon filet coated in mustard and a chili rub, baked at 400f for 8 minutes. Forget the fish, this is all about the risotto!

After the first addition of stock.
It was not so simple an affair, but goes quickly after prepping.

First, I heated 4 cups of pork stock in the microwave and added an ounce of dried lobster mushrooms to reconstitute them.  They were removed from the liquid after two hours and chopped.  I heated another cup of stock and added a pinch of saffron, and let that bloom.

I caramelized a sliced red onion, added six minced garlic cloves for a few seconds, and set that aside.  I sauteed a container each of sliced shiitake, porcini, and baby bellas.  I added those to the chopped lobster mushrooms.

To begin the risotto, I heated a TB of EVOO and added 1 1/2 cups of a special "risotto" rice (riso carnaroli).  I toasted it for a minute or two, then added the saffron stock and the onion/garlic mixture.  (Stir while making additions of stock, as needed).  Just before the final liquid addition, the mushrooms are stirred in.  When the rice was done, I removed the pan from the heat.

To finish, I added 3 pats of butter, 3/4 cup of real grated parmesan cheese, and the juice of 1/2 a lemon.  I seem to recall these finishing touches from one of Lidia Bastianich's cooking shows years and years ago - which prompted me then to make my very first risotto.

Mushroom Risotto
Loaded with mushrooms, just as Dan requested it.  The carnaroli rice is creamy without breaking down and becoming mushy, it's perfect for risotto - and that's what it says on the bag.  I think my saffron is too old, since it didn't seem to show up at all in the flavor - time to place an order at Penzey's!