Mushroom Risotto: the Perfect Comfort Food

Mushroom Risotto

I love, love, love risotto. I could eat it at least once a week, but then I’d weigh a lot more than I do. I love its endless variations and smooth creaminess. This risotto is a mushroom risotto, made with a combination of creminis, also known as baby bellas, and shiitakes. The baby bellas look like button mushrooms, only darker, and have a lot more flavor. Shiitakes were an indulgence, but we only bought four little mushrooms so it cost us well under a dollar. They sell at Whole Foods for $12 a pound, so being able to get just a few for flavor works for us. They’re sweeter and have a more interesting texture than your average cremini. If you really wanted to indulge, you could make the whole thing with shiitakes. Holy cow.

So here’s what you need:
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
a little over 1/2 lb of mushrooms, sliced thickly
1 T olive oil
2 T butter
1 c arborio rice
4 c chicken broth, preferably low-sodium
1/2 c grated parmesan

Start by heating your broth to a gentle simmer and leaving it there. You want it hot for adding to the rice.

In a wide, deep skillet add 1 T oil and .5 T butter over medium heat. Add half the onions, the garlic, and the mushrooms, along with some s&p; allow to cook until softened, five or so minutes. Remove from pan. Add .5 T butter and remainder of oil to the pan; add rest of onions and cook until softened. Then add rice, stirring, until mostly opaque with white centers. This gives risotto its signature creaminess. Add 1/4 c of white wine if you have it and allow to simmer off; if you don’t have it, add some of the broth. Then begin to ladle in the broth. You want it to just cover the rice and simmer more or less right away. Stir this regularly and add more broth once you can sweep the spoon across the bottom of the pan and see it, rather than liquid. The whole absorption process should take you about 18 minutes. Add the mushroom and onion mixture back when you add the last ladle.

With the end of the broth absorbed, turn off the heat and add the last T of butter. Stir in until it melts. Add the cheese, stir in, and serve. Oh so tasty, you could just curl up in a bowl and stay there.

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