How To: Make Wild Mushroom Risotto
One of my favorite dishes to make is risotto. The creamy, rich flavor is a great appetizer or entree. You can make it with a variety of ingredients from vegetables to seafood. It's not something to have every night, but for a date night or weekend at-home dinner, this is an easy dish to make.
Mushrooms are a favorite, and this wild mushroom risotto is lovely because it uses a ton of mushrooms! The umami from the mushrooms combined with the light flavor of leeks is one of my favorites.
Risotto has a bad rap of being hard to make. If you watch cooking contests, risotto is usually the dish that sends someone home. While it's not difficult to make, it is easy to want to take shortcuts that impact the texture of your risotto. I'm sharing this recipe to show how with a little bit of time and focus, you can make Wild Mushroom Risotto at home, too.
Step 1: Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 of 1 1/2 lb wild mushrooms and sprinkle with salt. Sauté mushrooms until tender and beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to a medium bowl. Working in 3 more batches, repeat with 6 tablespoons butter, remaining mushrooms, and salt and pepper.
Step 2: Bring 7 cups chicken broth to simmer in a medium saucepan; keep warm. Melt 1 1/2 tablespoons butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add 3/4 cup finely chopped leek, sprinkle with salt, and sauté until tender, 4 to 5 minutes.
Step 3: Add 1 1/4 cup arborio rice and increase heat to medium. Stir until edges of rice begin to look translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.
Please don't skip this step. Toasting the rice creates a shell around the grains so they can absorb the liquid without getting soggy.
Step 4: Add 3/4 cup warm chicken broth; stir until almost all broth is absorbed, about 1 minute. Continue adding broth by 3/4 cupfuls, stirring until almost all broth is absorbed before adding more until rice is halfway cooked, about 10 minutes.
This can seem like a long process, but it's important to do this in small amounts. Stirring causes the grains to rub together and release starch which is what makes risotto creamy. You also want to stir so the rice doesn't stick and burn to the bottom of the pan.
Step 5: Stir in sautéed mushrooms. Continue adding broth by 3/4 cupfuls, stirring until almost all broth is absorbed before adding more until rice is tender but still firm to bite and risotto is creamy, about 10 minutes.
Step 6: Stir in 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Transfer risotto to a serving bowl. Pass additional Parmesan cheese alongside, if desired.
All that is left is to enjoy!