Welcome to I Scream Kitchen! This is a blog to inspire you to try new dishes and make your cooking experience a pinch more fun!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

The Real Mushroom Risotto

I love risotto but for a long time I was a little apprehensive to try making it at home as for the real good risotto you need to stir a lot. Whatever people tell you, whatever cut-corners tips they give you, the real deal actually requires that much stirring. I tried loads of that advice but it just couldn’t compare to this more or less traditionally cooked recipe. I say more or less because I am not Italian and I have combined parts of quite some recipes I found and I altered them slightly. However, this is the best risotto I have ever tried, and the stirring doesn’t make me avoid cooking it on a regular basis!

Mushroom risotto with loads of rucula on top

The real mushroom risotto recipe

(serves 3 - 4 if eaten as a main)

2-4 tbsp. olive oil
500-800 g (1-1.8 lbs) Portobello/chestnut/button mushrooms or a mix (the more you put the more mushroomy it is but 500 g is also OK) – thinly sliced
1 large onion – chopped
1 large clove of garlic - chopped
300 g (0.7 lbs) Arborio rice (or another branded as risotto rice)
½ cup dry white wine
1 L (34 oz.) hot stock (chicken, veggie, mushroom, etc.)
50 g (0.1 lbs) butter
Salt to taste
Fresh ground black pepper
Freshly grated parmesan (Don’t you dare use those powdered ones! Better skip it if you don’t have it, or use another type of mature cheese)
Fresh chives to taste (optional)
Fresh rucula/arugula to taste (optional)


1. Heat up a large pan or skillet to medium high and fry off the mushrooms in a little bit of the olive oil. Don’t cram them or they will be slimy in the end. You must have only 1 layer of mushrooms in your pan, if you have more just fry them of in a couple of batches. This is important! You are looking for light golden brown colour on the mushrooms, they shouldn’t be looking like boiled but they shouldn’t be all crisped up either. This usually takes about 5-10 min per batch. Set them aside.

2. You can use the same pan you used for the mushrooms. Heat up some more olive oil over medium high heat and add the chopped onion and garlic. Cook a couple of minutes until they turn transparent.

3. Add the well washed rice (wash it with cold water until the water is no longer milky looking, or your risotto will be gluggy) and fry along for a couple of minutes until a little transparent.

4. Add the wine and leave evaporate.

5. Here is the tiresome part of the recipe. Add a ladle of the hot stock (if you made it with a cube, don’t add any salt until the last minute after trying the dish as cubed and powdered stock are usually really high on salt) and let almost evaporate while gently stirring with a spatula. If you don’t know what you a looking for, it’s should look a bit like thick porridge before you add another ladle. Proceed like that ladle by ladle (your ladle should be around ½ cup) until you finish your stock. When you do try if you are content with the texture of the rice, ideally it shouldn’t be too soft, with a little bit of bite but definitely you shouldn’t be feeling like you are eating raw rice. If it’s not done yet, continue the same way, ladle by ladle while gently stirring with hot water until you’re happy with the result. The whole process usually takes between 20 – 30 minutes over medium high heat; make sure it’s not too high or your risotto might burn or you might need a lot more liquid. The final consistency of the dish should be somewhat like porridge, not like a big sticky lump but also not soupy. Have in mind that when you add the cheese in the end the risotto will get a little thicker, also those several minutes it takes to serve will make the rice suck up some more liquid.

6. Add the butter and let it melt in. The quantity might look a bit excessive, but it makes the risotto a lot more flavourful and smooth, don’t skip on it! Then add salt to taste (it might not need it) and freshly ground pepper.

7. Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan and some chives and rucula. I like a lot of rucula, as it gives the dish a little spicy note but if you’re not a fan, just leave it out. Buon Appetito!

Mushroom risotto with chives