This dish really needs a whole lotta love...it 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?
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 summer...it'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.