Rice has never been my first option. I like it, but never my first option.  However....rice pudding, or Risotto, you have me nailed.  I do have a number of rice dishes on my blog, mainly stir fries, or added as a stuffing, or in casseroles.  But pudding and Risotto? Wins me every time.  Risotto - creamy, luscious, filled with yummy flavor, what is not to love?
Here, I used a combination of fresh Crimini Mushrooms, and a Wild Dehydrated mushroom mixture - a full flavored rich delicious combination!
1 cup of Arborio Rice
4 Tblsp. butter Plus 1 extra Tblsp. of butter to add at the end
2 large minced garlic cloves
1 large Shallot, finely minced
2 Tblsp. finely minced celery, leaves included
5 Crimini mushrooms, finely chopped
4 cups of chicken stock or vegetable stock
1/2 cup of dehydrated mushroom mixture with chicken stock - enough to cover the mushrooms
1/2 cup of dry White Wine
salt and pepper to taste
a good pinch of Saffron
1/2 cup or two palm fulls of Parmesan Cheese
Rip the 1/2 cup of dehydrated mushrooms into small pieces.  Add to a sieve and rinse under cold water.  Then add to a bowl and pour in 1/2 a cup of Chicken stock - enough to cover.  Let sit for 20-30 minutes.
Pour the rest of the 3 1/2 cups of chicken stock into a medium sized pot, and heat to a continuing simmer, keeping on low heat.
Heat up a saute pan on medium low heat with the butter added to the pan.  Add in the minced shallot, garlic, celery to the pan.  Saute about 3-4 minutes until the shallots are tender and fragrant.
To the pan, add in the fresh minced mushrooms, Saffron and season with salt and pepper.
Saute for another 5 minutes.  Pour in the white wine and simmer until somewhat reduced.  Then add in the Arborio rice, stirring until the rice glistens.  Pour in the dehydrated mushroom chicken stock mixture, stirring to combine.
Let sit for a bit until the rice has absorbed the liquid, then stir well and add by the ladle full, the chicken stock.  Stir and let sit to simmer and absorb.  Continue this process until all the stock is used - about 30 minutes.  Remove from the heat and add in the 1 Tblsp. of butter, and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, stirring well to incorporate.  Serve hot along side any main meat, fish or vegetarian dish.

Ina Gawne


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February 9, 2012