Monday, July 18, 2011

Mushroom Risotto

The mushroom season just started and the past days here in Berlin rather felt like fall then summer.
So Wil and I decided to leave the city behind for a few hours 
and take a train ride to the German forests to go on a mushroom hunt. 
Last year we almost came too late. 
Most mushrooms were picked already or rotten. 
So this year we wanted to make everything right...and were a little too early. 
Nevertheless we found some chanterelles!
I never found them myself and didn't know exactly where to look for them.
But then we spotted them underneath some birch trees.
I really have to say: mushroom picking is so much fun! 
It's like looking for easter eggs and you're outside in nature.
 When we came home I decided to use the chanterelles for a mushroom risotto.
For this you should mainly use dried mushrooms, since they are much more flavourful and aromatic.
But adding a few fresh ones, especially when you picked them yourself, gives it the final touch.

What you need:

500g Arborio/Risotto rice 
250g white wine 
2 Tbsp finely chopped rosemary 
1,5 to 2 l vegetable broth 
4-5 tbsp butter  
one medium sized onion, chopped  
2-3 finely chopped garlic cloves 
3-4 tbsp parmesan, freshly grated 
30-50g dried mushrooms (e.g. chanterelles, porcino) 
fresh mushrooms (approx 100-150g), 
cleaned from dirt and cut into small pieces. 
salt, pepper

photo by the wonderful Anna Coe
 In a bowl of water soak the dried mushrooms for at least 1 hour. 
In a large pan melt about 2 tbsp of butter. 
Add onion and garlic cloves and sautee them until golden. Add the chopped rosemary. 
Rinse the arborio rice under cold water until the water is clear. Add the rice to the onion, garlic and rosemary.
Pour 250ml of white wine over the rice.
On low to medium heat stir and let boil until the wine has evaporated. Strain the formerly dried mushrooms, but keep the water in which you soaked the mushrooms in. Add them and the fresh mushrooms to the rice.
Meanwhile in a saucepan mix the mushroom water and the vegetable broth and bring to boil.
Using a dipper slowly pour the broth-mix over the rice (1-2 full scoops at a time) and stir slowly until the rice  absorbed all the liquid. Then pour another one or two scoops of broth over it. 
Repeat the procedure until the 1,5 l of broth got fully absorbed by the rice. 
If the rice is still too tough you might have to add a little bit more liquid.
Risotto is supposed to be creamy and soft, but not mushy!
It's important that you keep stirring on low to medium heat.
When the rice is ready add salt and pepper and stir in 2 Tbsp of butter and 3-4 Tbsp of freshly grated parmesan. 
It gives the risotto the final creamy texture.

Serve with a small salad on the side!

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