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Recipe of the Week: Mushroom Risotto

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This has got to be most people's favourite risotto. It has lots of flavour and is probably the tastiest vegetarian risotto. Make sure you have a good vegetable stock as this will ensure you get a good flavoursome result.

Always cook the mushrooms off before you start the risotto so you can concentrate on getting the rice perfect.

Vegetable stock ingredients

1 liter of water
3 carrots (peeled and cut into 2 cm slices)
1 stick of celey (cut into 1/4s)
1 leek (washed and cut into 2cm pieces)
5 parsley stalks
1 sprig of thyme
5 g of dried mushrooms
Sea salt

Method

Place all ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Skim off any residue and turn down the heat so the stock simmers gently for 30 mins. Taste and season if necessary. Your stock is ready!

Mushroom risotto ingredients - serves two

120 g of carnoroli risotto rice
1 tblsp of chopped onion
1 tblsp of chopped celery
2 tblsp of olive oil
1 liter of vegetable stock
50g of unsalted butter
75g of freshly grated parmesan
1 tblsp of chopped flat leaf parsley
10 g of dried porcini mushrooms (soaked and chopped)
150 g of fresh chanterelle mushrooms (washed and ends trimmed)
100g of trompette de la mort mushrooms (washed and ends trimmed)
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
1/2 tsp of chopped thyme

Method

In a hot large frying add 1 tblsp of olive oil and the mushrooms. A lot of water will come out of the mushrooms so empty the mushrooms of the liquid into a colander and add 1 tblsp of olive oil sliced garlic and the chopped thyme to the frying pan you cooked the mushrooms in. Return the cooked mushrooms to the pan immediately and add the soaked chopped porcini mushrooms and their liquid and cook until the mushrooms have become syrupy and look juicy but not dry. Season and keep to one side.

In a straight sided saucepan add 1 tblsp of olive oil and cook the onions and celery until they are soft. Add the rice and cook so the rice has absorbed the olive oil and is frying but not getting any colour.

Start adding the stock one ladle at a time leaving enough of a gap so the stock get absorbed by the rice. Make sure you use a wooden spoon and stir all the time as this will release the starch in the rice that will make the risotto really creamy. After 12 mins add the cooked mushrooms and cook for another three minutes so the mushrooms get absorbed into the rice. Add another ladle of stock. Then add the butter, parmesan and parsley. Take 1/2 a clove of garlic and crush it with some salt to a paste and add to the risotto to give the risotto a lovely richer flavour. Stir continuously so the liquid is reduced but is wet enough so that when you shake the pan you get waves. Check the seasoning and serve in shallow bowls or deep plate. This would be delicious with a glass of Sangiovese di Romagna which is very much undiscovered red wine that is brilliant with robust flavours like wild mushrooms.

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