While the California drought has made for some great January t-shirt days, it’s also made for a lousy mushroom season. Whole Foods, my closest good sized grocery store normally has Chanterelles or Hedgehog mushrooms this time of year, but they’ve had nothing but Oysters and other cultivatable mushrooms this winter. When I can get my hands on some nice meaty Chanterelles though, my favorite way to prepare them is in a Risotto.
You don’t need mushrooms for risotto. They’re equally delicious with asparagus, peas and sausage, or just about any other combination that you can think of (but keep it simple).
- 1.5 cups Short grain Italian Rice, such as Arborio
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Butter (optional)
- 3/4 cup dry white wine (Sauvignon Blanc)
- 1 Quart Chicken stock
- Wild Mushrooms (Chanterelles or Hedgehogs are both delicious)
- Lots of freshly grated Parmesiano Reggiano
- Salt and Pepper
Heat the stock on the back burner in a heavy pot until boiling, then reduce to a simmer.
In the meantime, chop the onion, and sautee in Olive Oil until soft. You may also add a bit of butter for a richer flavor. Add the rice, and cook for a couple of minutes on medium-high heat until coated in oil. Add the white wine, stir the rice, and let sit until the white wine has evaporated.
Now, start adding the chicken stock, one ladle at a time. Add a ladle, stir the rice, and then wait until the chicken stock has evaporated. Add the next ladle, and repeat. It should take 17 minutes for the Risotto to be fully cooked, but taste along the way.
After about 12 minutes, add the chopped mushrooms (and continue the process of ladling the stock).
Add as much parmesan as you want, the more the better (and the higher quality parmesan, the better!).