Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Porcini Mushroom Risotto

I LOVE porcini mushrooms, and if I see them at the farmer's market, I will buy $30 of them then eat them for a week. The fresh ones I feel are best sauteed with a bit of garlic and butter. Put them on eggs, steak or my favorite: mashed potatoes. They will make your eyes roll back in your head.

Here is my off-the-cuff recipe for my dried porcinis, it's delicious and not too unhealthy, which risottos can be if ordered in a restaurant. Give your self 45 minutes for this recipe.


  • 5 oz. packet dried porcini
  • 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms (ex: crimini)
  • 1 large shallot minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil + 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups short-grained rice, for example Arborio or Vialone Nano
  • 1 cup dry white wine, warmed in a pan on the stove
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano
  • 2 tablespoons non-fat sour cream or non-fat yogurt (optional)
  • 6 cups water the mushrooms were soaked in, filtered using cheesecloth or a coffee filter
  • 3-4 sprigs thyme, leaves removed and minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Steep the porcini in a 6 cups of boiling water for fifteen minutes. Remove mushrooms, filter and reserve the fragrant mushroom broth.

Meanwhile, mince the shallot and sauté it in 2 tablespoons of oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. Stir the rice into the shallots and drippings in the pot.

Sauté the rice for 2 minutes, until it becomes translucent, stir constantly or it will stick and burn.

Stir in the mushrooms and then the wine. Continue stirring until the wine has evaporated completely. Then stir in a first ladle of mushroom liquid. Add a pinch of salt after each ladle of liquid. Continue adding the liquid a ladle at a time as the liquid absorbs, stirring occasionally. Watch the salt and taste as you go, I would rather have bland risotto, you can add more salt later. About five minutes before the rice is done, check seasoning. As soon as the rice is al dente, turn off the heat, stir in the sour cream, 1 cup of the cheese, a little bit of ground pepper, the thyme, and cover the risotto for two minutes. Serve with the remaining grated cheese.

We served this with a nice soy-marinated broiled salmon and a raw broccoli and radish salad.

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