We often watch a lot of cooking programs and one of the most dreaded dishes contestants have to prepare is a good risotto. To be honest the thought of preparing it based on everything we have heard and seen has been daunting and off putting. Step in Jamie Oliver and the mystery and myth behind preparing a good basic risotto are dispelled. We had our niece over with us over the weekend and decided to overcome our fears and attempted a wild mushroom risotto using Jamie’s “risotto bianco” recipe as a base. It is a labour of love and needs patience but once mastered you will want to try other flavour combinations. Next challenge – macaroons worthy of Adriano Zumbo’s seal of approval!
What do I need to make it?
- 200 gm arborio rice
- 1 cup of dry white wine
- 200 wild mushrooms
- 50 gms re-hydrated porcini mushrooms
- 4 button mushrooms sliced
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 2 stick of celery finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic chopped (2 for the mushrooms and 1 for the rice)
- 60 gms Grana Padano cheese (or freshly grated Parmesan)
- 1 vegetable stock cube dissolved in 500 ml of water
- 50 gms butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Handful of parsley chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
How much will I make?
How do I make it?
First boil some water for the stock and keep dissolved stock aside. Prepare the mushroom toppings in a separate pan – add a knob of butter, a couple of minced garlic cloves and the trio of mushrooms. Saute over medium heat till done – season with salt and pepper before taking off the heat.
For the risotto – put the olive oil and a knob of butter into a separate pan, add the onion, garlic and celery, and cook very slowly for about 15 minutes without colouring. Once the vegetables have softened, add the rice and turn up the heat. After a minute or two, pour in the white wine and allow the rice to absorb all the liquid – keep stirring gently. Once the wine is full incorporated into the rice, reduce the heat to a simmer, add a pinch of salt/pepper and start adding the stock one ladle at a time – wait for the liquid to get absorbed before adding the next. This takes 15-20 minutes and keep checking if the rice is cooked. If the rice is not cooked and you run out of stock, use some hot water from the kettle till rice is done. Once the rice is cooked, put in the grated cheese, chopped parsley and 50 gms of butter – stir, check seasoning, switch off the heat and cover the pan and let it sit for a couple of minutes. As Jamie says this is the most important part of the preparation as this is when it becomes amazingly creamy and oozy like it should be. Serve the risotto hot in a bowl with a generous portion of the sauteed mushrooms.