There is something romantic about a quiet risotto and wine dinner for two at
the end of a long winter day.
Valentine’s Day or not- My husband is not utterly fond of red coloured food items. Or chocolates. So while the whole world plans red velvet cheese cakes and heart shaped sweet baked items for their valentines, I know in my heart that mine would not care for any of those customary things. There is, though, this one thing he is consistently fond of – mushrooms. Everytime we dine out, we look for at least one dish that contains mushrooms. Cheese and butter are close favorites too. So if I have to dedicate one dish for V- day, I would choose something that combines all his favorites. This risotto does that pretty well. It is a combination of his favorite flavours and textures – umami, creamy, cheesy, with a slight bite that adds to its character. Totally unrelated but someone once told me straight hair lacks character. Not that I agree or disagree or even think about whether I do or not, but it got me thinking why someone would say that. The homogeneity maybe, and the lack of surprise. And that’s what I didn’t want the risotto to be, homogenous and ‘predictable’. While the al dente risotto rice takes
care of that to a large extent, I threw in a variety of chopped mushrooms and fungi to enhance the texture.
- Button mushrooms: 3-4 fresh, finely chopped
- Black fungus: Half a cup, soaked and chopped
- Japanese shiitake: Half a cup, soaked and chopped
- Arborio or other form of starchy rice: 1 cup
- Garlic: 2 large cloves, crushed
- Wine: 1/2 cup
- Mushroom stock: 1-2 cups
- Butter: 2-3 tbsp
- Cream: 2 tbsp, optional
- Olive oil: 1 -2 tsp
- Grated cheese: for garnish
- Salt and pepper
- Heat 1 tbsp butter along with a tsp of olive oil in a heavy bottom pan
- Add in the crushed garlic, when it releases aroma add in the button mushrooms
- Once softened, add the soaked mushrooms and rice
- Stir for a minute, add in the wine and let the rice soak it in
- Add in the stock, a tablespoon at a time.
- If there is paucity of time, you can add in slightly larger quantities of stock and keep it covered checking every 4-5 mins to add more stock.
- Once the rice is cooked enough (usually takes about 20 mins), stir in the remaining butter, cream and grated cheese and season with salt and pepper.
Feel free to add fresh herbs such as parsley or basil for an extra kick.
Posting this for KFB’s Valentine’s day special with lots of love for all the followers of KFB community