Mushroom Risotto (these risotto recipes feed 2 very comfortably) Arborio rice (the “risotto” rice. You can find at TJs in a red box or in most grocery stores, where it can be quite a bit more expensive. You’ll need about 1 and ½ cups rice, if you are of the measuring type.)
Celery (2 or 3 stalks) 1 medium onion 2 garlic cloves, chopped 2 lemons A handful of parsley 1 cup white wine Olive oil
Parmesan, pecorino or asiago cheese to finish your risotto 4 cups assorted mushrooms of your choice (dried porcini mushrooms (soak in water first/use water for broth), cremini mushrooms and portobello all at TJs, oyster mushrooms, enoki or something different from farmer's market
To prep the mushrooms: Slice about 4 medium (or two large) portobello mushrooms & half a package of cremini mushrooms, and sauté with garlic. Set aside and repeat with any oyster or enoki mushrooms (their cooking time is shorter). Combine the mushrooms when cooked, season with salt and a squeeze of lemon to taste. Maybe too you'd like to add some fresh herbs from the garden. (You can also consider making a porcini mushroom stock by placing about half a packet of (bashed) dried porcinis with 5 cups or so of water in a saucepan on medium heat. When it is a lovely brown color, and smells yummy, it is done.)
To cook the risotto: Practice your knife skills (yeah!) and dice the celery and onions, small. Slow and steady wins the race... make nice, even cubes. Sweat the celery and onion in a wide, heavy-bottomed pot with a bit of olive oil and/or butter (1-2 tablespoons of each, but who has time to measure). Add about 1 and 1/2 cups of rice (measure by sight, accuracy is not important) and stir, "toast" the rice, until the rice absorbs the liquid that the veggies have given off. Add about a cup of wine and let rice absorb the liquid. Generously cover the rice with warm water (or mushroom stock or veggie stock). Stir, scrape the bottom to ensure there is no sticking. Gently keep adding liquid as the rice absorbs liquid in pot, adding salt and pepper to taste. Careful not to over stir, just keep the rice from sticking as it drinks! When the rice is nearly prefect (a little white in middle of grain) introduce the mushrooms. Add in parsley and perhaps more lemon and wine, if you like, at the last minute. Viola! Serve topped with shredded or slivered cheese, if you wish. As you enjoy this risotto, think about other variations that are well within your masterchef repertoire: for instance, adding some peas and prosciutto could be lovely, or even cream and sage instead of lemon and parsley.