A few of my favourite things…

Mixed Mushroom RisottoTo start things off, I thought I would share a few of my favourite foods with you, beginning with the humble mushroom.

I am totally and utterly in love with mushrooms. I admit I joined the party a little late but now I’m there, I won’t ever be leaving!

Growing up, I wasn’t that adventurous when it came to food particularly if it involved unusual textures (that’s right people, I am not your average mango fan). For a long time, mushrooms fell into that category but thankfully I have learnt to love them.

The thing I like best about mushrooms is that you don’t have to do much to make them the star of a dish. Grilled with a little butter, thyme, garlic and pepper and you’re well on your way to a great meal. Throw in some fresh chilli, a poached egg and wilted baby spinach and you have the perfect vegetarian breakfast sorted. Alternatively you could add some white wine and cream to the mushrooms and make a great little pasta sauce.

My favourite thing to do with mushrooms though is to add them to a really simple blanco risotto. I cooked this one for a dinner party a while back and whilst it wasn’t particularly fancy or technical, it was a real crowd pleaser. So much so, my good friend keeps asking for the recipe – this one’s for you Erin!

 

Mixed Mushroom Risotto (feeds 4)

  • 1 tbsp butter                       
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 cup white wine            
  • 2 cups carnaroli or aborio rice
  • 4 cups chicken stock (I use salt reduced stock as it gives you more control over seasoning at the end)
  • 300-400gms mixed mushrooms, sliced (any combination such as oyster, shitake, swiss brown and field provide flavour variety)
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 250gms baby spinach (or more if you’d like)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese

1. In a large fry pan on medium to high heat, add the butter and brown the onion and garlic for approximately 3 minutes.
2. Add the white wine, allowing the alcohol to cook down (this should take about a minute or so).
3. Lower the temperature to medium and add in the rice. Stir until all the grains are coated in the wine and onion mixture.
4. Start to add the stock slowly (preferably 3/4 cup at a time) and stir frequently until all the liquid is absorbed before adding more. Continue to add in the remaining stock until all of it has been absorbed.
5. While the rice is cooking, add some butter to a separate fry pan and start to brown the mushrooms and thyme. Cook in batches to allow the mushrooms to brown properly.
6. Once the mushrooms are ready, add the baby spinach, pepper and parmesan to the rice and stir through until the spinach is wilted and parmesan melted. Taste before adding salt.
7. Divide the risotto between four bowls and top with the mushrooms and extra parmesan.

Note: It is important you watch your risotto carefully and continue to stir it. If the rice looks a little dry towards the end, just add some water and it will regain its creamy consistency. I would highly recommend tasting the risotto towards the end to gauge how much salt you need to add – stock and parmesan both have high salt content so you may not need much.

Enjoy!

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