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Wild Mushroom Risotto
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Add the hot stock to the rice.
The risotto should be creamy, not runny.
Beat in the butter and Parmesan cheese until completely dissolved.

Wild Mushroom Risotto

Serves 4

Making risotto requires your full attention. Though the rice can be partially cooked in advance and cooled, the finishing process is so precise that the risotto cannot wait for your guests, but rather your guests have to wait for the risotto.

  • 1/3 cup peanut oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 7 cups vegetable or chicken stock, kept simmering
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound wild mushrooms (such as shiitake, cremini, oyster or portabello), stems reserved for stock
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped, peeled, and seeded
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a medium-size heavy saucepan, heat the peanut oil. Over medium-high heat, sauté the onion and garlic just to soften, stirring constantly, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the rice and continue to stir, using a wooden spoon, coating the rice with the oil and onion.
  2. Deglaze with the white wine and cook until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often. Pour in enough hot vegetable or chicken stock to cover, about 3 cups, and cook, stirring often, until the liquid is absorbed.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the olive oil. If the mushrooms are large, cut them into bite-size pieces and sauté over medium-high heat just to soften, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Pour 3 cups of hot vegetable or chicken stock into the rice, turn the flame to high, and stir in the tomatoes. Stir until almost al dente. Stir in the mushrooms and the remaining 1 cup stock, as necessary. Remember, the risotto should be creamy, not runny. Remove from the flame and vigorously beat in the chilled butter and the Parmesan cheese until completely dissolved. Stir in the parsley, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Divide among 4 heated plates and serve immediately. Pass around the remaining 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese for your guests to use as desired.

Wine Recommendation:

A lighter red wine like a Beaujolais or young Zinfandel goes particularly well with this risotto. I like the wines of George Duboeuf, the 'King of Beaujolais', especially the Moulin-à-Vent. For Zinfandel you might like to see if you can find Dry Creek or Hayward Vineyards, both outstanding award-winners.
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