Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Creamy risotto acquires an earthy deep flavor with the addition of dried porcini mushrooms. Once each grain of rice is cooked to the properly tender, but still al dente state, and the cheese is added, your risotto might not be as moist as you like; if it isn’t, add some of the remaining stock. I sometimes add dried cherries, about 1/3 cup at the end to broaden the flavor palette.
1 1/2 cups water
5 1/2 cups chicken stock or store-bought low-sodium broth
1 1//4 ounces (about 1 3/4 cups) dried porcini mushrooms--I like a bit more
2 tablespoonfuls olive oil
1/2 stick (4 tablespoonfuls) butter
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1 tablespoonful chopped rosemary (optional)
2 cups Arborio rice (about 14 ounces)
1 cup finely grated/shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 2 ounces), plus additional for serving
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Combine water and 1 cup stock in a small saucepan and heat until hot. Put mushrooms and 1 tablespoon oil in a bowl and pour hot liquid over them. Let soak for 30 minutes.
Lift porcini out of soaking liquid, squeeze excess liquid back into bowl, and rinse well to remove any grit. Coarsely chop porcini. Pour soaking liquid through a fine sieve lined with a dampened paper towel into a large saucepan (or carefully skim liquid from top, leaving grit at the bottom of the bowl). Add remaining 4 1/2 cups stock and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat, cover, and keep at a light simmer.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter with remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a 4 quart saucepan over moderate heat. Add scallions and rosemary, cook, stirring until softened, about 3 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup stock and cook at a strong simmer, stirring constantly, until stock is absorbed. Continue adding stock, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding next, until rice is tender and creamy but still al dente, 18 to 20 minutes (there will be left over stock).
Stir in mushrooms, remaining 2 tablespoons butter, cheese, salt, and pepper. If necessary, thin risotto with some of remaining stock. Serve immediately, with additional cheese.
Note: Use fresh ingredients!