I started culinary school last week, and our instructor was talking about a restaurant that he went to in Houston a while back. When he was looking at the menu and was in the mood for risotto, he asked the waiter about a couple of different flavors. When the waiter asked him what flavors he wanted, or what he was in the mood for, my instructor said, “Play with me.” Well, in the culinary world, when you have some crazy creative chefs and very open-minded and appreciative customers, that’s like recess for them. The waiter smiled sadistically and walked away…only to come back with a large plate of risotto for him. Apparently, he had used some pan drippings from another meat they used for another dish, along with some other incredible ingredients and flavors. Our instructor was so impressed, that he was joking about how he told this guy to make sure he reproduces so the world can have more people like him. Ha!
Well, after hearing that story, I started looking for risotto recipes, and came across one. Mushrooms, butter, wine, garlic, and parmesan?! YES!!! Well, actually I threw in the garlic, because I personally love how garlic, mushrooms and onions all go together. It’s a trio of incredible flavors that mix together so well. I made some chicken parmesan as the main dish with this recipe, and it was a heavenly Italian meal. But, the next time I make this for my mom and mother-in-law (they were both wanting to try this), I’ll make the parmesan chicken the same way, but with a garlic parmesan cream sauce on top, rather than the traditional tomato sauce. Oh boy, now I’m already getting excited to make this again. Geez.
Mushroom Risotto Recipe:
4 cups chicken broth, divided
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound white mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 small onion, diced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
In a saucepan, warm the broth over low heat. Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the mushrooms, and cook until soft. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Remove mushrooms and their liquid, and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet, and stir in the pnions. Cook 1 minute. Add rice, stirring to coat with oil, about 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper. When the rice has taken on a pale, golden color, pour in wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed. Add 1/2 cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in mushrooms with their liquid, butter, chives, and parmesan.