Hush, I know it’s September.
July was an interesting one with the theme being set as “Random”. We couldn’t really think of a proper term for it but this is how it works:
Instead of picking your own recipe, this month’s theme had somebody else doing the picking for you. We decided who should decide for who via lucky draw, and the lovely Sefie ended up being my recipe master while I had the pleasure of picking out a recipe for Celina. What this meant was that you’d be cooking outside your comfort zone and trying new things as there’s no doubt that we tend to lean towards recipes we know we can do, or have a higher possibility of succeeding at. So there was a fair bit of uncertainty and randomness in this month’s cookoff which resulted in some awesome successes and some not so good failures.
To start the ball rolling, here’s Sefie‘s contribution. Celina had requested for: Porcini Mushroom Risotto.
Porcini Mushroom Risotto
(makes about 12 cups, you only need 6 for the risotto)
1 carrot, chopped
2 pounds mushrooms, chopped (I used button mushrooms)
2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms, sliced
2 large onions, chopped
1 large potato, sliced
2 celery stalks, chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
20 parsley stems and leaves
1/4 cup soy sauce
Pepper to taste
14 cups of water
1. Combine all ingredients in a massive pot and add the water.
2. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the stock is a rich brown colour.
3. Cool slightly, then strain.
4. Use or freeze for up to 3 months.
Simple Risotto (4-6 servings)
2 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups uncooked arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
4-6 cups mushroom stock
2-4 tbsp softened butter (extra)
Salt, pepper, parmesan cheese to taste
1. Heat the mushroom stock in a separate pot, keeping it at a simmer.
2. Melt the butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat.
3. Add onion, and cook until softened (~3-5 minutes).
4. Add the rice, and stir until it is completely coated with the melted butter (~2-3 minutes).
5. Add the white wine carefully (be careful not to flambe yourself), and keep stirring the rice until almost all the liquid is evaporated.
6. Carefully add the stock to the rice, about 1/2 cup at a time. Keep stirring constantly, but not too forcefully, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Add more stock. Each ladle of stock should take about 5 minutes to be absorbed.
7. Begin tasting the rice after about 20 minutes, but keep cooking until it reaches the desired consistency. This could take up to 30-40 minutes.
8. When rice is cooked, remove from the heat, and add the rest of the butter (and parmesan if you want). Adjust seasonings and serve.
Personally, I am no stranger to cooking risotto. It is our go-to dish if we are feeling lazy and don’t feel like being overly creative. Risotto is warm, easy to cook and definitely ranks high on the comfort food list.
This mushroom risotto was good. It hit the right spots and ticked all the boxes for me. Perhaps just a touch on the heavy side for me due to the mushrooms but I do tend to lean towards the lighter flavoured risottos like cauliflower risotto and lemon risotto. The tricky part to risotto is making sure that it isn’t claggy, but really the key to that is making sure that you don’t agitate the rice too much while cooking it. Over-agitating means making the rice release more starch and that’s where your problems begin.
All in all, a good risotto and definitely a success especially since it was Sefie’s first time making risotto!