Friday, November 13, 2009

Mushroom Risotto - Where Can I Buy Patience?

This dish really needs a whole lotta was the wrong dish for someone so impatient (not me. hmm..ok, me).

Why did I even try?

I've tried a couple of pricey risotto dishes from some fancy restaurants...and I was unhappy with their mushy, bland, flavorless rice. I wonder if it's really that difficult to make.

I thought all I had to do was dump the rice + the rest of the ingredients into my rice cooker, leave it cooking while I watch Top Chef/Master Chef/Project Runway online/bite my fingernails/do nothing/munch on chocolates/day dream/annoy the heck outta sous chef...while smelling wonderful scents of mushrooms from the rice cooker...and when I heard the "ding"!...I'd open my rice cooker to see a pot of steaming hot, flavorful, delicious, wonderful, gorgeous, perfectly al dente mushroom risotto.

I should've probably gone for those instant microwaveable risotto eh?

Oh gosh...
Here are the ingredients...there aren't many. This is probably why I thought it was gonna be easy.

- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of shallot, finely chopped
- 2 cups of fresh shitake, sliced
- dried Italian mixed herbs (sage, oregano, thyme, rosemary)
- about 2 cups of chicken stock
- salt, black pepper, olive oil
- white wine (I used whatever it is available in my fridge)
See my ghetto way of sealing wine bottle...cling wrap + rubber band = not good.

I couldn't help but photograph the rice...look how cute those small grains are. I haven't used this kind of rice before...they look similar to normal white rice...but just in creamier color...

...and the ever so photogenic shitake...

Oh, man, what have I got myself into?

In a frying pan, saute garlic and shallot in a bit of olive oil, until fragrant and the shallot turns translucent. Add sliced mushrooms, add white wine, season with salt, pepper and mixed herbs. Cook until you don't taste alcohol in the wine, set aside.

Then, heat up chicken stock in a pot. Once the stock is hot, place rice in another pot and pour a bit of chicken stock, start cooking.

Once you see that most of the chicken stock has been absorbed by the rice, add more chicken stock, not too much a at time. Shake the pot to help the rice absorb the stock.

Forget soap operas, filing your nails, etc. Expect to do this pouring-stock-and-shaking-pot for quite a while (about 30-40 minutes). Don't do this in's beyond torturous.

You'll see the volume of the rice increasing...when it's almost there, add the mushrooms with its cooking juices in.

It's done when the rice's done. Creamy but firm, not hard, not mushy.
Let the risotto sit for a bit, and serve.

Is it worth all that trouble? In winter, yes. Yum, oh yum!
In summer? Oh, puhleeze.
Remind me never to do that again.


daphne said...

I SO AGREE! it's time consuming but oh so worth it!

pigpigscorner said...

Looks amazing! Love mushroom risotto and do need lots of patience but it's worth it!

Pam said...

I tried it once in the rice cooker also. Never again. But I actually like the slow stirring and watching, it relaxes me.

KennyT said...

How fun! It's a "pay off" when you've skipped your gym!

Love the way you stored your white wine, hahahahaha.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget to toast the rice in the pan with some olive oil before adding the first liquid. Also, if you add a bit of wine for the first addition, it will help release the starch from the rice and make your final product creamier.

Nina Timm said...

I love making risotto(in winter). I have a wonderful oven-baked version that allows you to file nails, watch soapies etc!!!!

michelle said...

dejavu much...I made s squash risotto two days ago! yours turned out much prettier than mine haha and agreed, making risotto is not for the impatient!! when I was making mine, it suddenly struck me why I don't make risotto very often haha.

EatTravelEat said...

Cool! I'd totally guess it would be time consuming. The wine storage is also quite cool. I use the cork from the wine bottle or a stopper depending on how the cork comes out looking like.

Kevin said...

That looks so good! Creamy mushroom risottos are so good!

Little Corner of Mine said...

Got to try cooking it one day. Looks good.

YaYa said...

Sympathise with you totally, after reading your blog, I foolishly decided to make risotto (and it's summer here!!!),after a long hot day running around with the kids, said to hell with risotto and made mushroom rice in the rice cooker. Nice fluffy rice, no cheese, no wine and NO STIRRING! Sometimes you just gotta let it go!

dewi said...

put a thick cut of butter just before serving... like jamie oliver,
anything will taste better with butter anyway ;)
yours looks great tho, hope it worth all the hassle.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

wow, i shall save this in my archives somewhere so i can attempt it..but theres no winter in malaysia!