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Dinner plate with salmon, corn and mushroom risotto

Mushrooms are probably my favorite food. Salmon makes the Top 10. Fresh corn is pretty high up on the list too. All that to say…. this was a good day.

I’ll post about how to make the Apricot Salmon With a Kick later in the week, but I want to talk about the mushroom risotto today. I had always wanted to make risotto, but I never got around to it until I saw this recipe from Rachael Ray. She calls it “Wild Mushroom Risotto,” but I don’t even know what porcini mushrooms are, so I just used plain ol’cheapo ‘shrooms. It turned out delicious, so I guess I have no idea what I’m missing with the porcini mushrooms.

Ingredients

I changed around a few minor things from her recipe. Here’s my version.

  • 1 8-oz. carton mushrooms, chopped into chunks
  • 1 quart beef broth
  • 1 quart water
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped small
  • 2 cups Arborio rice (or any short-grain rice, if you can’t find Arborio)
  • 1/2 cooking sherry
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2-3/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • Salt & pepper to taste
I actually had most of this on hand already. I only had to buy the mushrooms – and they were on sale!

Directions

You can’t toss it on the stove and walk away for 20 minutes, but I learned that risotto is a lot more low-maintenance than I was originally led to believe.

  1. Place mushrooms, broth and water in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer.
  2. Melt the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium or medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add the rice and sauté for a couple of minutes more, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the sherry and let the liquid evaporate. Add several ladles of the beef broth and reduce heat to medium, medium-low. Simmer and stir frequently until the liquid is mostly absorbed.
  4. Remove the mushrooms from the broth and add them to the rice. Add several more ladles of broth to the rice, and continue stirring until the liquid is mostly absorbed. Continue this pattern of adding broth and letting it absorb, until the rice is cooked to al dente (almost completely soft).
  5. Stir in thyme and parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste (I would go lighter on the salt since the broth is already salted). The actual cooking process (not counting prep) should take 20-30 minutes, but like I mentioned, you don’t have to totally babysit the thing. You can have other things going at the same time. When you’re finished, the risotto should be a creamy consistency from all the starches releasing. Note: You might not use all the broth, so don’t worry if it seems done and you have some broth left over.

We had the leftovers with lunch the next day, and it kept really well in the refrigerator. I’m not a huge fan of being able to taste a lot of thyme in my food, but this dish was SO GOOD. I’m pretty sure I had to stop Stephen from getting thirds (“Don’t you want some tomorrow with lunch?”).

Apricot Salmon With a Kick to come in a later post.

Sautéing the rice as the sherry evaporates:

Sauteing the arborio rice for risotto

Broth with mushrooms:

Beef broth with mushrooms

With the first round of broth:

Cooking risotto with beef broth

After adding the mushrooms and the second round of broth:

Making mushroom risotto

I lost count with the broth…

The risotto is getting close to being done

After mixing in the thyme and parmesan:

Mushroom risotto with thyme and parmesan cheese

All done!

Finished mushroom risotto

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