I recently discovered SpecialtyProduce.com – a San Diego produce warehouse that mostly supplies food to local restaurants, but also happens to be open to the public. OMGYG, it’s like produce Disneyland!! I wandered all the aisles aimlessly, completely fascinated and trying not to buy everything in site. I kept coming back to the wall o’ wild mushrooms, and finally decided to treat myself to some wild chanterelles and morels.
I also picked up some canned black summer truffles. Nothing will compete with the flavor and aroma of fresh truffles, but unfortunately I didn’t have the $800 minimum order required for the fresh kind. The $60, seven-ounce jar will just have to do. Sometimes you just have to #treatyoself. The truffles are completely optional and unnecessary for this risotto to be delicious. But, if you happen to have some truffle salt or truffle oil on hand, add a bit of it in.
Between the mushrooms, the truffles and the Parmesan cheese, this risotto is an umami-flavored explosion!
Traditionally, you specifically use Arborio, a short-grain Italian rice, for risotto. But, since I was too lazy to go back to the store, I used the short-grain sushi rice I had on hand. Any short-grain rice will work for this, but don’t try it with Basmati or Jasmine, they just don’t have the starch content necessary for risotto.
Chanterelle Mushroom Risotto
adapted from bourdain
makes 4-6 servings in about 1 hour
6-7 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 lb chanterelle mushrooms, trimmed and larger pieces halved or quartered (or any combination of wild mushrooms like morels, hedgehogs, porcini, etc)
2 shallots, minced
1 1/4 cup Arborio or short-grain rice
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
black truffles (optional, as much as you can afford)
In a medium sauce pan, heat broth and bay leaves until simmering. Keep at a low simmer.
In a large, wide skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1 tbsp butter until the foam subsides. Add in 1/4 of the mushrooms. Season with a bit of salt and saute until browned, about 3-4 minutes. Continue with the remaining mushrooms, adding butter and cooking in batches, taking care not to over crowd the pan. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
Turn the heat down to medium and melt the remaining butter in the skillet. Add in shallots and saute until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add in the rice and stir to coat with butter. Toast the rice until the edges of the rice grains begin to turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in the white wine and stir until all the liquid has absorbed. Add in the broth, 3/4 cup (or one ladle’s worth) and stir until almost all the broth has been absorbed, about 1 minute. Continue to add broth in 3/4 cup increments, stirring until almost all the broth has absorbed before adding more.
Half way through, about 10 minutes in and half the broth is gone, add the mushrooms back to the skillet. Continue to add broth 3/4 cup at a time, stirring until almost all of the broth has absorbed before adding more – about 10 more minutes.
Optional delicious but totally unnecessary step: Add in shaved black truffles. Stir to combine.
You may not use all of the broth – taste the rice and check for texture. It should be tender, yet still firm to the tooth (al dente!). Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately – the longer it stands the more liquid the rice absorbs, and the stiffer the risotto becomes.
Cook Time:1 hour