Become a contributor!

This button doesn't work at all, but you're welcome to press it. And to contact me (Dustin), should you wish to become a contributor.

Friday, September 9, 2011

mushroom risotto

The first time I had risotto, I had no idea what it was. i was at the time (and here my prep school is showing) on a school trip to the Metropolitan Opera, which included lunch at the Met restaurant--which was for me at that time one of the fancier places I'd ever been to. I ordered the special, somewhat on a whim, and was a bit surprised to have it come in a bowl rather than a glamourous plate--a bowl of rice and peas and button mushrooms and baby onions and veal, all tied together with what I thought was gravy. It was rich and creamy and utterly delectable as well as utterly filling, so that I spent a rather long time pecking at it for the sake of my tastebuds even while my stomach told me I was done. Eventually I was told I had to stop, because I was preventing everyone else from getting dessert; and since we had an opera to go to, I couldn't very well box the remainder, and it went away. I think I recall this singular meal much better than the opera.

I hadn't thought about that dish much since; but today in the grocery store I happened to spy a box of arborio-style rice and thought "What *is* risotto? I should try to make it!". So I bought it.
Here is how one makes risotto (2 portions)
Fry up a smallish onion in a large skillet, or a saucepan. When it is soft, put in 3/4 cup of risotto rice and stir it about for a few minutes until nicely coated. Add a 1/2 cup white wine, if you have any, or water if you don't (I didn't), and let it evaporate. Then, add some chicken stock, a half cup at a time. Every time it is close to being evaporated, add another half cup; I went through about 2 cups of stock in all. This part takes about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, fry up some mushrooms (I had 4 regular white ones), or whatever you like really, in a skillet, until nicely browned. When your rice is nice and al dente, toss in the mushrooms and their oil, and stir! Add something like a quarter cup or more of parmesan cheese and serve.
When I sat down to enjoy this, I thought--wait, I've had this before! I mean, I'm sure I have had risotto other times as well, in restaurants or whatever; but as I munched on the mushroomy creamy goodness in my deep black bowl I suddenly realized what it was that was on special that time in high school...

So, in conclusion: The investment here is some good short-grain rice, though if you happen to be near Italian-themed groceries this is actually not a prohibitive expense. You also need to have a lot of stock of some sort handy; I'm now almost out and need to make some more. On the other hand, it's not hard, it's both delicious and filling, and can be made with infinite variations; plus I hear it's good cold for lunch...

No comments:

Post a Comment