Both of us grew up in mushroom-embracing households. Frankly, we find it difficult to believe that there are people in the world who don’t like mushrooms. To celebrate our favorite fungi, Chef Zach chose a broad variety of mushrooms from our local Whole Foods to put into a delicious and rich risotto.
4 cups of hot chicken stock
1 1/2 cups of arborio rice
1 1/2 cups of dry white wine
8 oz. of any sort of collection of organic mushrooms, cleaned of dirt
1 medium white onion, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
4 large trumpet royale mushrooms, cleaned of dirt and sliced
4 morel mushrooms
1 oz. of dried porcini mushrooms, soaking in 2 cups of hot water
3 tbs. of butter, divided
2 tbs. of kosher salt
2 garlic cloves
A small amount of extra virgin olive oil for sauteing
After 10 minutes of soaking, remove the porcinis from their soaking water and transfer them to a food processor. Reserve about 1 1/2 cups of the soaking water from the top (any silt will have settled to the bottom). Using 1/4 cup of the clean soaking water, add a little at a time to the porcinis as you pulse them in the food processor to make a paste. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-low heat. To this, add the chopped onion and whole garlic cloves. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent, but you don’t want to brown or caramelize them. At this point, remove and discard the garlic, and add the rice. Cook for about 3 minutes to lightly toast the rice, still over medium-low heat. Add the remaining clean soaking water and the wine to the onions and the rice; continue cooking, stirring occasionally and making sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.
In a separate saute pan, combine a little bit of olive oil and 1 tbs. of butter. Melt together over medium heat. In this pan, saute the whole mushrooms for 6-7 minutes until slightly tender, being sure not to overcook them. Set aside when done.
The liquid in the risotto pot will continue to reduce as it cooks, so add chicken stock as necessary. This will occur somewhat frequently, so be watchful. As time goes on, you will have to stir more frequently.
When the rice is mostly done, add the porcini paste, parmesan, 2 remaining tbs. of butter, sauteed mushrooms, and salt. Cook for an additional 4-5 minutes to reach full doneness.