Sunday, February 28, 2010

Chantrelle and Porcini Mushroom Risotto

I fully admit that I have no formal culinary training. I'm a foodie, not a gourmet or an epicure. I have the love for food but not the technical knowledge.

I'm learning though, bit by bit. And the bright side is that I keep getting to "discover" new things in this kitchen adventure.

Tonight was another milepost. I made my very first risotto. This one, courtesy of Rouxbe Online Cooking School.

Rouxbe Online Cooking School & Video Recipes

This is one of their free video recipes so go check out the full version, you can view it, print it out, etc without signing up. (Not pitching them, just being lazy and not wanting to repost the whole recipe here.)

I loved working with the porcini and chantrelle mushrooms, great texture and flavor. I've pretty much always used button and portobello mushrooms. These were truly a different animal...errr...or fungus.

The arborio rice was also a first for me. I was surprised about the difference between the usual basmati long grain rice and the arborio rice during the sauteing phase. Instead of going for looking for a toasting or golden browning like I do with a pilaf using long grain rice, the Rouxbe video told me to be looking for a translucent edge. I wouldn't have known that.

We served the final product with a pan seared and oven roasted bone in chicken breast.

My thoughts are:
  • I wouldn't have tried this except for the video recipe and I feel like it helped prepare me.
  • Like some of the comments in the Rouxbe link, it took me longer than the 30 minutes. It took me 1 hour and 5 minutes.
  • I loved the shrooms and want to learn more about them. I'm going to do "There's A Fungus Among Us" week to educate myself more about our fungal friends.
  • The taste was good, better than the risottos I have had.
  • Even still, given the effort & time required, I would have a hard time making risotto as a side dish unless I did the "make partially ahead and then finish later" option. I mean's rice.
I just realized how silly that last line sounds coming from someone who has no problem taking 12 hours to smoke a pork butt for a sandwich.

Got any risotto tips for me?