August 30, 2011

Red Wine and Porcini Risotto

When Hurricane Irene was battering the outside of my house this weekend, all I could think of was having something warm, rich and comforting inside of my house. (Side note: who ever would have thought that DC would experience an earthquake and a hurricane in the same week!?) (Another side note, or maybe more of an observation: it is not fun, nor dry, to walk a dog in a hurricane. Sorry Patton, next time you are on your own!)

Moving on...

I had a package of dried porcini mushrooms that I have been wanting to try and I remembered that great red wine risotto I made over the winter. I used the same recipe from Food 52 as my starting point and adapted it for what I had in the fridge and pantry. It ended up being a great hurricane dinner!

Red Wine and Porcini Risotto
Adapted from Food 52
Serves 4


1 oz package dried porcini mushrooms
5 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided use
3/4 cup diced 1/4 inch thick salami (or pancetta or bacon)
1 onion, diced
1 cup vialone nano rice
3/4 cup red wine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
leaves from a couple sprigs of fresh thyme

1. Soak the mushrooms for at least 20 minutes in boiling water. (The water need only be boiling when you first pour it over the mushrooms.) Carefully remove the mushrooms from the water and squeeze any excess water from them. (Hang on to the mushroom soaking liquid in case you need more liquid for your risotto - just be careful not to stir up the dirt that would have settled to the bottom of the bowl.) Chop the mushrooms.

2. In a saucepan, bring the stock to a low simmer and maintain the simmer while making the risotto.

3. In a large skillet, heat one tablespoon of butter and one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the salami and cook until starting to crisp. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking until the salami is crisp and the mushrooms are golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

4. Add one tablespoon of olive oil to the fat already in the skillet. Saute the onion until soft. Add the rice and continually stir for about two minutes. Add the wine and stir until it has evaporated. Reduce heat to medium low.

5. Add 1/2 cup stock to the rice and stir until it has been absorbed. Continue adding stock in this manner until you have about 1 cup of stock left. Add the salami and mushrooms back to the skillet, stir to combine, and continue adding stock until the rice is al dente. It should be creamy, with a little bite, and never mushy. The amount of stock you will need depends on your rice, and a host of other factors.

6. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining two tablespoons of butter, the cheese and the thyme. Taste for seasoning and serve immediately.

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