November 26, 2006
Stir and Stir and Stir and... Risotto!
Donna Hay has gone Italian. The theme for Hay Hay It’s Donna Day #8 is risotto and is being hosted by il Cavoletto di Bruxelles. Risotto is relatively new for me, it always seemed like something that was hard to do. I knew it was good, but I thought it was out of my league. Let me set the record straight right now: Risotto is NOT hard to make. True, it takes time, but it’s not difficult. If you can stir, you can make risotto. It’s all about the stirring. Anyways, this is my second blogging event where I’ve made a risotto. The first one was for the “Take Two” round of the Monthly Mingle, hosted by Meeta of What’s For Lunch Honey. I made a butternut squash risotto with zucchini and sage and thoroughly enjoyed it. I previously hadn’t done much cooking with sage, but I really liked it. This post has nothing to do with sage.
This time around my risotto consists of wild mushrooms and fennel. The reason for that choice was quite simply that I had recently received a very large box of shiitakes from my mushroom growing friend, (to which I added dried morels from my cupboard) and I had a fennel bulb that needed to be used asap. I looked at a few risotto recipes, mainly just because I like looking at cookbooks, but then decided to wing it. For the most part, risottos all have the same base which can then be built upon to create endless variations. I made this recipe up as I went along, and as you’ll see; my instructions for making it are therefore all approximate. If you make a risotto once by the books then you’re all set to do your own thing afterwards. I had originally wanted to do a bunch of risottos and post them all, but then the deadline for HHDD snuck up on me and so this is all you’re getting, (but it's a good one). Expect a dessert risotto from me sometime in the near future.
Wild Mushroom and Fennel Risotto- Courtesy of Me!
A few splashes of olive oil
A chunk of butter
An onion, chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped
Some fennel seeds and roasted garlic powder
A generous handful of fresh shiitakes, sliced
A smaller handful of dried morels, soaked for ~20min, reserve liquid and slice morels
1 cup white wine, (take a few sips off the top, then pour yourself a real glass)
1 ½ cups Arborio rice
About 4 cups of stock, combination of reserved morel liquid, chicken stock and water
Lots of freshly grated parmesan
• Heat olive oil and butter in a large pan.
• Add onion, fennel, mushrooms, fennel seeds and garlic and stir occasionally until soft.
• Add rice and mix in well.
• When rice is fully coated, add wine and stir until wine is almost completely absorbed.
• Begin adding stock, about ½ cup at a time, allowing each previous ½ cup to absorb before adding the next one. At this point you will almost have to stir continuously.
• When your rice looks slightly creamy but is still a little aldente to the taste, add the parmesan and mix it in.
• Then eat it!
Risotto + Dinner + Recipe + Donna Hay + Blogging Event