Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Wild Mushroom Risotto

Ina Garten is one of my favorite chef's to get recipes from...they are almost always really approachable and are most definitely crowd pleasers! 
My sister requested that I make the Wild Mushroom Risotto as a part of her birthday dinner, so with my mom out of town, I stepped up to the plate. And let me tell you, it was a home run! The combination of the mushrooms, shallots, and pancetta make for such a delicious taste-I was surprised there were even left overs! We enjoyed the risotto along side some perfectly cooked steaks, salad with homemade dressing and of course, bread.
Wild Mushroom Risotto, adapted from the Barefoot Contessa


  • 1/2 pound fresh or dried porcini or cremini mushrooms
  • 1/2 pound portabella mushroom (the smaller sized ones)
  • 4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots (3 shallots)
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving


If using dried porcinis: Place the dried porcini mushrooms in a bowl and pour 2 cups boiling water over them. Set aside for 30 minutes. Scoop the morels from the water with a slotted spoon, reserving the liquid. You should have 2 cups; if not, add water to make 2 cups. Drain the porcini mushrooms and rinse once more. If some of the mushrooms are large, cut into 2 or 3 pieces.  Set the mushrooms and the liquid aside separately.
Meanwhile, remove and discard the stems of the portabellas and rub any dirt off the caps with a damp paper towel. Dont rinse them! Slice thickly and set aside.
In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock with the 2 cups of reserved mushroom liquid (if you used the dried porcinis) and bring to a simmer.
In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the pancetta and shallots over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add the portabella and  porcini mushrooms and saute for another 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with butter. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add 2 full ladles of the chicken stock mixture to the rice plus the saffron, salt, and pepper. Stir and simmer over low heat until the stock is absorbed, 5 to 10 minutes. Continue to add the stock mixture, 2 ladles at a time, stirring every few minutes. Each time, cook until the mixture seems a little dry before adding more of the stock mixture. Continue until the rice is cooked through, but still al dente, about 25 to 30 minutes total. When done, the risotto should be thick and creamy and not at all dry. Off the heat, stir in the Parmesan cheese. Serve hot in bowls with extra cheese.
Bon appetit!


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