Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mushroom's what's for dinner!

In my vain attempt to be inspired by The Pioneer Woman, here's my silly little step by step chronicle honoring the beautiful magic that is risotto! If you've never made risotto, you are really missing out. It can be a little daunting at first, and requires the utmost in patience and preparation time...but the creamy delicious goodness is *so* worth the effort.

Two onions. Dice 'em and cook until they start to brown. Add a clove of garlic and continue to sautee.

You don't want to add the garlic until your onions are mostly browned...garlic burns very easily, and burned garlic gets no love.

Throw in some finely chopped celery. My recipe calls for 1 TBS. Obviously, I think that is merely a suggestion. On a side note, if you are cooking with celery, always include the leafy parts. Lots of flavor and pretty color in those tender little shoots.

Mushrooms! I used sliced baby bellas last night...yummmmmm!

Cook them 'til they're all brown and delicious like this, and then...

...add some white wine to de-glaze the pan! This step gives a very satisfying SIZZLE!

Pour in some evaporated milk. Or you can use heavy cream or half-and-half if you're so inclined. I never have cream or half-and-half on hand because it spoils before I can use up a container...but I always keep evaporated milk in my cupboard and it works GREAT in place of milk in recipes that need a heavy, creamy sauce.

The star of the show. One cup of Aborio rice. This is very important...if you're making risotto, you MUST use Aborio rice. It's different than any other type of regular rice. It cooks very slowly, and as it cooks, it gives off this amazing starchiness that makes risotto, well...risotto.

Vegetable broth. Unbelievably, you will stir in somewhere between 4 and 5 cups of the stuff during the next 45 minutes or so!

Go ahead. Stir in just a little bit. I add it by about 1/2 cup at a time. Stir it in, and let it simmer on medium low, stirring often. This is really the key....stir often. The stirring is what helps to break down the Aborio rice.

At this point, you might want to pull up a stool, pour yourself some eggnog, and watch "Gavin and Stacey" on your laptop. Or maybe that's just me. More industrious women might take this opportunity to clean up their kitchens. Not me. I boldly left that mess for this morning. :)

Keep on adding broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until it's pretty much absorbed before you add more broth.

Can you see it? Here's the magic! The rice is really starting to get creamy now!

Add in some parmesan cheese and a couple tablespoons of real butter--somehow I forgot to take a picture of this step--and stir it all around, trying not to drool directly into the pan.

The finished product! Oh my! I would have put it in a pretty serving dish for your viewing pleasure, but I have to put it back on the stovetop this afternoon and warm it all up for our family Christmas dinner. If you give me a call early enough, maybe we'll save you some. ;)

Of course, I can not cook, write or take photographs like the pioneer woman...that is why she is jaunting across the country on a fabulous book tour, and I'm sitting on my couch in my jammies while my two little ones play at my feet. It's a welcome trade.


  1. looks delicious Danielle...and you break it down so simply

  2. Boy I wish I liked mushrooms---- that looks delicious!!!!