Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Keeping it simple… Part II

Last night was wild mushroom risotto. Now, I have to admit to a certain amount of seasonal wanton profligacy with this, due to a timely visit to Costco and the bulk buying of 500g wild mushrooms for less than a tenner, which has led to me throwing them with gay abandon into everything. And I also have to acknowledge that not everyone will find a half-eaten jar of Sacla anchovies with white truffles in the cupboard to also throw in with wilful wantonness, so feel free to edit these elements somewhat… If you wanted that savoury richness and had only ordinary anchovies, add them in with the onion at the beginning so they melt and form a backbone of flavour.

So: I soaked a good handful of mushrooms in some chicken stock while I sweated a chopped onion and 2 cloves garlic in some butter. I scooped out the mushrooms and added them to the pan, then added in around 160g arborio rice (carnaroli is my preferred choice, but we’re talking cupboard love here). Add a good slug of vermouth (or white wine) and allow the rice to soak it up, then proceed as normal, adding in the stock a little at a time, allowing the rice to absorb the liquid and stir, stir, stir. About halfway through, I added the anchovies which melted into the risotto as it cooked. You’ll notice the risotto is taking on a rather brown hue, due to the mushroom liquid, but think of it as autumnal woods and move on…  When the rice is cooked,season and leave to stand for a couple of minutes while you add the incredibly important knob of butter and – for even more richness – a big handful of grated gruyere cheese. Warm your plates, then spoon the risotto onto them, adding a grating of Parmesan and a sprinkling of parsley. Heaven in a bowl.

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