Wild mushroom risotto recipe

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Risotto is a popular Italian dish, based on a special type of rice, called risotto rice. The rice is toasted with olive oil, then cooked with white wine and some kind of stock, vegetable, chicken or other. When the cooking is over, butter and Parmesan cheese are stirred in. Besides the basic ingredients, some extra ingredients are used, depending on the recipe. In this recipe, wild dried mushrooms cooked with garlic are used. Other risotto recipes use ingredients ranging form vegetables (such as courgettes) to fish (such as shrimps).
Preparation time: 5 minutes, Cooking time: 20 minutes, Serves: 2 - 4 



Ingredients

1 cup wild mushrooms

2 cups of risotto rice (Arborio or other brand)
2 Tbsp olive oil

3/4 cup white wine
4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
20 g unsalted butter

1 to 2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil

Finely chopped parsley, to garnish

Directions

Rehydrate the mushrooms
Put the mushrooms in a bowl and cover with hot water. Let stand for at least 15 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft. Squeeze the mushrooms using your hands and set aside. Reserve 1 cup of the mushroom juice for making the risotto.

Cook the risotto
In a deep frying pan over medium high heat add the olive oil and bring to a heat. Add the rice and toast it for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Start adding the white wine,  a little at a time, stirring constantly. You should add the wine in two or three parts.

When the wine evaporates, add the reserved water (from soaking the mushrooms), 1/2 a cup at a time, cooking and stirring.

Start adding the chicken or vegetable stock, 1/2 a cup at a time. Continue stirring while the risotto is being cooked. The entire cooking process should take about 15 to 20 minutes. Taste the risotto and season with salt and black pepper. Continue cooking until the risotto is done (add more stock or water if necessary).

Take the risotto off the heat and add the butter. Stir well until the butter is dissolved and evenly distributed in the risotto. Add the Parmesan cheese and stir well.

Transfer to a serving dish and top with the cooked mushrooms (see below). Garnish with lemon or lime wedges and finely chopped parsley.

To cook the mushrooms
In a frying pan over medium high heat add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, bring to a heat and add the mushrooms and garlic. Cook stirring constantly for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and keep warm until the risotto is ready.

Notes and tips

Risotto is a simple dish to prepare, but in order to get a good result, there are some things you should have in mind. Following are some simple, yet important tips for making a good risotto.

Tips for making the perfect risotto

1. Use good quality risotto type rice. Anything else will not be the same.
2. Use good quality stock, whether chicken or vegetable. It is a good idea to create your own stock, with fresh ingredients and flavors you like.
3. Use a good wine. If can't drink the wine, do not use it in your cooking.
4. Toast the rice. This is a very important stage in making risotto. Omitting to toast the rice, or not doing it well will not yield in a good risotto.
5. Keep stirring. While making risotto, you have to keep stirring. When the rice gets dry you ladle in some kind of liquid (chicken stock, vegetable stock, or other) and continue cooking while stirring, until the liquid evaporates. When this happens, you add more liquid and repeat the process until the rice is cooked.
6. Add the butter in small pieces, evenly in the risotto and stir until it is disolved.
7. Use good quality, original Parmesan cheese. Add the cheese at the end, after the butter, and stir well to mix it into the risotto. Do not use already grated Parmesan cheese - buy a whole piece and grate it yourself.
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