Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Photo Tutorial: Risotto

I remember the first time I had risotto. It was many years ago at a little Italian place in my hometown of Revere, MA. It was a classic risotto that had thin slices of tenderloin and sprinkles of rich Gorgonzola cheese over the top of the creamy rice. So delicious. Then I watched Todd English make it on one of his early cooking shows. This was long before we had Food Network available in our area and only had cooking shows on PBS. He made it look easy and in fact, risotto is very easy to make. It just takes a little time and attention but it's well worth it.

Risotto has many applications, it can be sweet or savory. It can be vegetarian or rich, meaty and cheesy. Simple or elaborate just based on what additions you want to make. I made mine a mushroom risotto and it was delicious!

Triple Mushroom Risotto

olive oil
salt and freshly cracked white and/or black pepper (I used both)
1 tablespoon butter
8 ounces each of shiitake, cremini and white button mushrooms cleaned and sliced
1 large leek, quartered and thinly sliced
12 ounces arborio rice
1 cup of good dry white wine
4 cups of low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Set pot of stock to simmer on burner behind the skillet in which you'll be making the risotto. Saute the mushrooms in butter over medium-high heat.

As the mushrooms cook down and release all their delicious juices, season with salt and pepper. When the mushrooms are ready, transfer them to a bowl and set aside.

Add some olive oil to the pan and saute the leeks until tender.

Stir in the rice and saute for a few minutes. The rice should start to get a bit translucent.

Pour in the wine and stir until the wine is absorbed. Now it's time to start adding the stock. Add the warm stock 1/2 cup at a time (use a small ladle.) Stirring until each addition gets absorbed. Keep the heat at medium to medium-high. The rice and stock should be at a simmer/gentle boil. Season with salt and pepper.

The stirring and slow addition of the stock is what causes the rice to release all its starch and give up that creamy consistency that makes risotto so wonderful. Keep adding the stock and stirring until its thick and creamy but the rice is toothsome, not mushy. If the rice is still too firm after all the stock has been added, you can add some hot water and stir until it's absorbed and the rice reaches the right consistency.

Now it's time to stir in the mushrooms and check the seasoning.

Serve in your favorite bowl, topped with freshly grated cheese. Devour!


  1. What place in Revere???????
    I never knew good ole Revere by the Sea was so classy!

  2. Thanks for posting the Risotto Tutorial! It's almost as good as Jack Sparrow's Pirate Tutorial!

  3. You have a nice recipe! We both love foods :) I really like the way you presented your cooking steps!

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