Wild Mushroom Risotto

IMG_0429tI’m all about comfort foods these days, especially when it is a bone-chilling 4 degrees outside.  Like most of the country, I want to hibernate from the intense cold (even that is an understatement!)  And frigid days like these means you deserve something that is hearty, filling, and will keep you warm through a cold night.  For me, risotto is the king of all comfort foods!

IMG_0431This dish doesn’t exactly fall into the healthy category, as there is some butter involved (Mmm Mmm is right!), but it can be worse.  With the earthy flavors of the dried porcini and wild mushrooms, you’d hardly realize that the meat is missing.  Also, this risotto is so creamy without the addition of cream; the creaminess comes from the starch released when you patiently stir the rice, add more broth, and stir, and add more broth, and so forth.

IMG_0437I totally recommend you make this to ward off the winter chill.

IMG_0447My only regret is that I made enough to last only one meal.  You know what the leftovers are good for?  Fried rice balls!


Wild Mushroom Risotto

Serves: 4-6


1 lb wild mushrooms (such as hen of the woods, shiitake, beech, cremini, oyster); cleaned and roughly chopped
6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 cups Arborio rice (or another short grain rice)
1 ounce dried porcini, soaked in half cup of water and sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for sprinkling
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and saute mushrooms until tender and beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Bring chicken stock to a boil in a medium saucepan and keep it on a low simmer.

In a medium saucepan, heat oil and cook onions until softened and translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon until toasted and opaque, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add porcini (with the soaking liquid) and white wine, and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid is absorbed.

Add hot stock to the rice, about ½ cup at a time, stirring often and making sure it is nearly absorbed before adding more.

Just before adding the last ladleful of stock, add the cooked mushrooms. The risotto is done when the rice is al dente and creamy, about 20 minutes. Stir in the butter and cheese until well mixed. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve hot with extra cheese if desired.