The better half used to hate mushrooms. Hate them. For years, he disdainfully referred to them as “fungi” (which, yes, they are) and turned up his nose at any dish that had even the faintest trace of mushroom in it.
Then, suddenly and unexpectedly, he decided that he was going to try mushrooms again. And guess what — he liked them! I think it took a while for him to really get a taste for them, but as long as they weren’t the gross, slimy canned kind,* he was good.
* Which are pretty gross even if you do like mushrooms.
This opened up a whole new culinary world for me. I’m a big mushroom fan. I like them on pizzas, I like them sautéed, on the grill, in pasta, you name it. But, I hadn’t cooked with them in ages, since I usually cook for the two of us, and mushrooms were off-limits. So I started experimenting, adding mushrooms here and there.
Until now, though, I have approached any mushroom-based dish with some trepidation. Given his 180-degree reversal on this subject, I worried that the hubby’s mushroom aversion would be re-triggered by a mushroom overload, and we’d be right back where we started. When I saw Savory Simple‘s delicious wild mushroom risotto recipe, though, I knew I’d have to try it, even if it was described as “extreme” mushroom risotto.
With the hubby’s blessing (really, I asked him like five times to be sure), I forged ahead, toning down the mushroom craziness to some extent, and I am happy to report that, although plenty mushroom-y, it was a hit with both of us!
Nora tried some leftovers, too, and she loved it (especially in croquette form**).
** As I mentioned in my last risotto post, you can make croquettes with leftover risotto for a second meal. Delicious!
So, I think this mushroom thing is here to stay. Hurrah!
Wild Mushroom Risotto
Based on this recipe
3/4 cup dried gourmet mushrooms
6 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup red wine
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving
dash of truffle oil
cream, if desired
Soak the dried mushrooms in hot water until tender. Reserve about a cup of the liquid. Bring broth to boil in large saucepan. Cover and reduce heat to low.
Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the cremini mushrooms, stirring to coat with butter. Sauté a few minutes more. Add rice and stir for a couple of minutes to toast. Add wine and deglaze pan. One the wine has been absorbed, add the reserved mushroom liquid (I eyeballed it, but probably used about 2/3 cup) and simmer again until absorbed. Add the reconstituted mushrooms.
Add about a cup of hot broth and simmer until absorbed. Add warm broth cup by cup, allowing to simmer until absorbed each time, until rice is just tender and risotto is creamy and slightly soupy, stirring occasionally. This should take 20-25 minutes, and you may not use all the broth.
Stir in parmesan cheese, a dash of truffle oil, and a touch of cream, if you like. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer risotto to serving bowls. Sprinkle with a bit more parmesan and serve.