That's right, Dear Ones, risotto made with the truffles of the Midwest, Morel Mushrooms.
Let's get right to the recipe. I'm terribly busy today so this'll be just the facts. It's Staff Appreciation Day at the school tomorrow. The PTO always provides a meal for the teachers and they've asked me to provide the pies for dessert. Six. Of. Them.
1/2 lb. cleaned and trimmed morel mushrooms
2 T butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T minced or green onion
1/2 t. salt, plus more to taste
1 1/2 c. arborio rice
1/2 c. white wine
5 c. chicken or vegetable broth
2 T cream
1/2 c. freshly shredded parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish (optional)
fresh mint for garnish (optional)
fresh chives for garnish (optional)
1. Corsely chop mushrooms. Meanwhile, bring broth to a boil.
2. Melt butter over medium heat in medium saucepan. Add garlic and onions and cook until tender, about 1 or 2 minutes. Add those mushrooms and sprinkle with salt. You'll cook the whole affair until the mushrooms release their liquid... another 2 or 3 minutes.
3. Add rice and stir to coat. (Arborio rice is recommended. Most of us have long-grain rice in our cupboards at any time, but this will not produce good risotti. Long grain rice is meant to be fluffy and we want our risotti to be creamy. Shorter grain rice is starchier and will produce the desired results.) Once the rice has been stirred in, add the wine and stir until completely absorbed and evaporated.
4. Add 1 c. of the hot broth and stir often until it is mostly absorbed. You will continue adding the broth, 1/2 c. at a time, letting it absorb between additions. You will want to stir it a lot. You may not use all 5 c. of the broth. Just keep offering broth for the rice to soak up, until the rice is tender, but still firm enough to hold its shape. All this foreplay should take about 25 minutes.
5. When the dish has gotten to the right consistency, remove from heat and stir in the cream and the parmesan. Give it a taste and see if you want more salt in the dish and adjust it accordingly.
6. Divide the risotto between four wide, shallow bowls. Garnish with more parmesan, chives, mint, whatever you like.
I made this dish on Sunday evening and it was such a good dinner. I LOVE risotto and I LOVE morels and the combination was great. Because morels are so seasonal and so expensive (around $30 per pound, at the stand at my favorite gardening center), I wonder how the dish would be with other mushrooms. I'm tempted to give it a try soon, or maybe some of you will and let me know about the results.
My new friend/reader/fellow food blogger, Chris, told me about the practice of frying leftover balls of risotto. I bet that would be absolute bliss with this recipe.
Must get to those pies...
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