I found a recipe for Asparagus Risotto that looked interesting, so modified it and made Portobello Mushroom Risotto!
Note: *** This is NOT my picture. My good camera & USB cable are M.I.A. at the moment. Pictures will be up as soon as I get them back!**
400g sliced portobello mushrooms (large slices)
3 cups chicken stock
4 tbsp butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cups medium-grain risotto rice (Italian or Arborio)
1 coup freshly grated parmesan cheese
salt & finely ground black pepper
Boil at least 5 cups of water. Add the mushrooms and keep the water boiling until the mushrooms are just undercooked (about 5 minutes). Remove the mushrooms and cut them to bite-size if desired. Keep 3 cups of the water the mushrooms boiled in aside for later use.
Place stock in a saucepan (I used the same one I had boiled the mushrooms in). Add 3.5 cups of mushroom-cooking water to the stock and keep it simmering until needed.
Heat 3 tbsp of butter in a heavy frying pan/casserole. Add the finely chopped onion and cook until soft and golden. Add the rice and mix to coat with butter, 1-2 minutes.
Stir in 1/2 a ladleful of the hot liquid. With a wooden spoon, stir the rice constantly until all the liquid has been absorbed. Add more liquid, bit by bit, until the rice cooks (10-20 minutes depending on the rice). Midway through, add the mushrooms.
Do not worry if all the liquid isn't used up by the time the rice is cooked. If you run out of stock/liquid before the rice cooks, use HOT water to continue cooking the rice.
After removing the pan from the heat, stir in the cheese. Add the remaining butter only if you think its necessary. Though the recipe calls for parmesan, in my case, I actually hated
the TreStelle Parmesan I bought - it smelled processed and synthetic - so I opted to use good old Romano Lupa instead. It's unconventional, but I preferred it to the cheap (expensive) parmesan, and it tasted great.
Review: This recipe was alright. Tasty, but I'd definitely make some changes if I make it again. For instance, risotto usually calls for white wine, and I can just imagine how nicely it would have enhanced the flavour of this dish.
As a more general complaint, who decides how much butter goes into these recipes? I literally cannot believe the amount of butter I'm expected to put in, every time. Here, 5 tbsp were called for - I only set aside 4, and used at most 3.5tbsp total. Still found it too buttery, but anyway.
Lastly, as I stated, I did not like the parmesan I purchased, and gave up on it after stirring in about 1/2 a cup. From that point on I opted for Romano cheese. The end result was a "parmano" risotto, and I can't complain. That being said, cheese, as far as I'm concerned, is the key to risotto - you want to make a good choice. I'll be more careful next time.
What I did love about this risotto was the almost purple colour of the rice once it finished cooking. Though risotto is probably too rich of a dish for me to ever fully enjoy, it's a colourful, hearty dish that fits almost any pallet. I'd consider serving it to company - I'm thinking as a side, with a lean meat chicken) and a light, crisp salad to offset its heaviness. Hopefully once i work out the kinks in this recipe and maybe add a couple more ingredient (shallots?) I think this'll become a useful recipe to have on hand.
Picture as soon as my USB cable comes back from argentina. T____T
Music to Cook to: