Shrooms a-cookin’

The weekend just past was one of experimentation. The pal decided to whip out the pots and pans and attempt a mushroom risotto. I’m not fond of the kitchen having seen the look of utter disgust on my Home Economics teacher’s face yonder years back but I was ready to lend my gut and serve as guinea pig for the experiment.

First step/ stop was grocery shopping and its an activity I absolutely adore. I was slightly distracted by the Da Paolo Gastronomia store with their gleaming little cupcakes and oversized scones but I managed to pull myself together and get on with the shopping at hand. With the grocery list directing us, we sought out the following items as prescribed in the recipe.

  • 1 tray of shitake mushrooms
  • 1 tray of oyster mushrooms
  • 1 tray of portobello mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 block of Golden Churn butter
  • 1/2 cup of red wine
  • 2 cups of Gallo arborio rice
  • 1 pack of Perfect Italiano parmesan
  • McCormick pure ground black pepper – use as desired
  • 1 pack of Campbell clear chicken broth
  • 1 pack of Campbell real stock chicken
  • 1 pack of thyme – handful
  • 1 pack of Jacobs Farm organic bay leaves – handful
  • 1/2 cup red wine
With the shopping down pat [we cheated and got a slice of roast pork belly as our back-up plan], we proceeded back to the pad to experiment. So here’s kinda how it all went down, I’m not the best person to reference, I would recommend for you to google up some reliable sources and follow their recipes.
Prep work – Finely chop onion and garlic, place aside. Rinse all ‘shrooms, slice and set aside.
Step 1 – Warm chicken broth in a pot over low heat. Ours was a mixture of Campbell’s Clear Chicken Broth and Campbell’s Real Stock Chicken.
Step 2 – Warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan over medium high-heat and stir in the onions and galic. Cook for approximately 5 minutes until soft.
Step 3 – Stir in the mushrooms and saute for about 5 minutes, lightly season with salt and pepper and continue to cook for another 8 minutes until the fresh mushrooms have softened.
Step 4 – Add rice into the pan and cook for about 1 minute. Pour in the red wine and let it bubble, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed. Keep pan over a medium heat and pour in a ladle of chicken stock. Allow rice to simmer, stirring often, until the rice has absorbed all the liquid. Add about the same amount of stock again and continue to simmer and stir. Note: the rice should start to become creamy, plump and tender. Repeat this action until the rice is al dente [about 15 to 20 minutes] – the rice should be just cooked and slightly chewy.
Step 5 – Remove the rice from the heat and stir in mushrooms with their liquid, butter, and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper (to taste).
Step 6 – Spoon into bowls and tuck in! For those who like their cheese, load up on the parmesan. If like me, you’re a cracked pepper nut, go crazy!
Oh and here’s a shot of the pork belly we polished off that same meal. It’s no wonder I have rolls myself.
Till the next adventure. Hang tight.

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