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Mushroom Risotto

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It wasn’t exactly risotto weather today (a gorgeous 24 degrees in the Surrey hills) , but I had some lovely field mushrooms delivered this week by a local enthusiast and I wanted to try them out and give my feedback. Whilst there are so many ways to rustle up tasty mushrooms, having had a salad for lunch with a very low GI count, I think my stomach was calling for carbs! Here’s my recipe which is as simple as it gets and certainly hits the spot! Remember you can substitute the mushrooms for another vegetable if you’re not keen on mushrooms: a squash or pumpkin works well, or even asparagus. Risotto rice can also take on the flavour from fresh herbs so be generous. Chervil, chives, fresh thyme and even tarragon work particularly well.

Mushroom Risotto

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium to large onion
  • 300g sliced chestnut or field mushrooms split into 200g /100g
  • 3 cloves garlic – 2 tsp
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 300g risotto rice
  • 1.5 ltrs vegetable stock – hot at use
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp fresh chopped thyme
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 knob of butter – 25g
  • 1 few strands of chives for garnish

Cooking Instructions:

  1. In a heavy based pan heat the oil and fry the onions and garlic on a low heat until they are soft and translucent.
  2. Add 200g mushrooms, and fry for another 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in the arborio rice and ensure it is thoroughly coated with the onions and garlic – cook for about 5 minutes on a low heat.
  4. Add a little of stock to the rice at a time, ensuring that the water has been absorbed before adding more, keep stirring very gently as you go.
  5. Continue adding the stock as the rice cooks, this should take about 20-25 minutes; ensure you are working at a low heat most of the time. Occasionally you may need to increase the heat but ensure you lower it again as it begins to simmer. The rice should be soft, but still retain a nutty bite.
  6. Meanwhile in a separate frying pan fry off the other 100g of mushrooms in a tbsp of oil until they are cooked, crispy and brown then set aside.
  7. Add the salt & pepper to taste.
  8. Stir in the parmesan cheese and thyme into the rice.
  9. Finally just before serving, add the knob of butter to give it some emulsion. Decant onto the plates and garnish with the extra mushrooms, a little more thyme and chives.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

Cook’s Tip 1: Add a dash of white wine for a little flavour

Cook’s Tips 2: If not vegetarian – use chicken stock to give more flavour

Cook’s Tips 3: Add ½ tsp of mustard powder to give it a kick

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