Summer has officially come to an end, and that means it’s time to shamelessly enjoy risotto that’s studded with fancy wild mushrooms and laced with really, really good cheese.
Risotto gets a bad wrap, what with the constant stirring and all, but I think it’s a great weeknight meal! Hear me out – I don’t mean that in the way Ina Garten assures you a tarte tatin is just the thing to whip up for an unexpected dinner guest. I mean that in the way where you can finish up last night’s dirty dishes, drink a glass of wine, and watch bad tv in the background while stirring. Plus, if you keep a bag of arborio rice and some good chicken stock in your pantry, you’re halfway there!
Wild Mushroom Risotto
2 tbsp. of olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 cup arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
4 cups homemade or good store-bought chicken stock (I use Kitchen Basics brand, no salt added – you want to be able to control your salt)
1.5 cups chopped mushrooms (I used chanterelles from my last Quinciple box, but any wild mushrooms will do)
3 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup cheese (I used Pleasant Ridge Reserve, an alpine style cheese from Wisconsin, but you can use Gruyere, Parmesan, or whatever else you have around)
Salt and pepper
Heat a heavy bottomed pot on medium heat. Add oil, and once the oil has warmed, add onions. Stir and cook until onions are translucent, but not browned.
Add rice and stir to coat with onions and oil. This step is important – make sure every grain of rice is coated with oil. Add white wine, stir well, and let sit a couple of minutes until wine evaporates.
When the pan starts to look dry again, add a ladle full or a big glug of chicken stock (many people like to keep the stock warm on the stove during this process – and more power to you – but I’ve never had a problem pouring straight from the box) stir well and let sit until almost evaporated. Repeat until you reach last cup of broth.
While your risotto is absorbing the broth, heat 3 tbsp. butter in a saute pan over medium-high heat. The butter will melt, foam and then it will start to turn golden. Add the mushrooms before it turns deep brown. Saute until mushrooms are seared on both sides. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.
Once you’ve added the last bit of broth and your rice tastes done, but still faintly toothsome, stir well and add mushrooms, cheese, salt and pepper, and a bit more broth if you think it needs it. Let sit until broth slowly evaporates and the cheese melts. You should be able to run your wooden spoon through the pot and see it leave a trail for just a few seconds before coming together again. Most importantly, your risotto should taste good to you! Taste and add more seasoning if you like.