Risotto is a crowd pleaser. It’s easy to make and a delight to eat. This week’s Frugal Family Feast recipe creates a hearty, satisfying meal of wild mushroom risotto.
This wild mushroom risotto perfectly fits the bill for a Frugal Family Feast — a dish that feeds a family of four for less than $15. In fact, Chef David picked up his ingredients for about $11. For a little bit more, you can add cooked chicken to this dish and still have an inexpensive meal.
You start with arborio rice, a short-grained Italian rice with a high starch content that is the basis of risotto recipes. Dried porcini mushrooms can be found in most regular supermarkets or in an Italian market. Chef David also used a package of gourmet blend mushrooms that he found in the produce section of his supermarket.
Another tip: Remember that after you reconstitute the dried porcini mushrooms, save that mushroom water and squeeze the excess water from the mushrooms. The mushroom water is heated with the chicken stock, which becomes the liquid used to cook the rice.
When you cook risotto, each step builds another layer of flavor. The dry rice is added to the sauteed onions so that the rice is infused with the onion flavor. The mushrooms go in next and finally the hot liquid, one ladle at a time. The rice will develop a creamy texture as you stir.
Finishing the dish with mascarpone cheese, cream and Parmesan imparts extra creaminess, a savory boost and just the right amount of salt.
Wild mushroom risotto — courtesy of Chef David Rosov
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 1 2-ounce package of dried porcini mushrooms
- 8 ounces fresh mushrooms (gourmet blend or baby bellas)
- 1 small sweet onion
- 8 cups of chicken broth
- 4 ounces heavy cream
- 6 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon chopped Italian parsley
To prepare mushrooms:
- Soak the dried mushrooms in ½ cup of water for 15 minutes.
- Reserve the mushroom water as you drain and squeeze the rehydrated mushrooms.
- Finely chop reconstituted and fresh mushrooms and set aside.
To prepare rice:
- Pour chicken stock and reserved mushroom water into a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer the liquid.
- In another pot, saute finely chopped onion in olive oil over medium-low heat, taking care to cook until the onion is translucent but not burned.
- Add dry rice to onions and stir continuously and slowly for two to three minutes.
- Add mushrooms and saute for another two minutes.
- Pour in one ladle of warm stock mixture and let the rice soak it up while you stir. Stirring helps the rice release its starches and develop the creamy risotto texture.
- Gradually add more stock, stirring and allowing the rice to absorb the liquid before adding more, for the next 30 to 35 minutes.
- Taste the rice. When the texture has a little firmness but is not crunchy or gritty, the risotto is done.
- Turn off heat and gently fold in the mascarpone, heavy cream and Parmesan cheese.
- Place it in a serving dish and finish by sprinkling chopped Italian parsley on top.
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