Pho - Vietnamese Soup

Pho - Vietnamese Soup
One of our favorite dishes - Pho

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wild Mushroom Risotto

Our friend Jonathan, a bartender at Bolsa, is a fellow foodie and he encouraged me to try cooking risotto.  Not only does Jonathan know his artisanal drinks, he knows all about gourmet food as well...he shares our passion and obsession with food.  Cheers Jonathan...we so enjoy spending our "mini-date" with you guys talking about food, kids, the Super Bowl or's ALWAYS a joy!  Not only is the food out-of-this-world delicious at Bolsa, the staff is the crowning touch!

I learned that in making the perfect risotto it's a labor of love best undertaken with backup...your sweetheart, a friend or even an unsuspecting dinner guest with a strong arm will do.

The only modification I made to this recipe is I added a little truffle oil at the end.  This turned out so rich, creamy and decadently earthy tasting that I cannot wait to make this dish again.  This was a great use of wild mushrooms if you're a big fan like we are.  It definitely was satisfying enough to eat as an entire meal.  

1-ounce dried morel mushrooms
1/2 pound fresh porcini or cremini mushrooms
4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
2 ounces pancetta, diced
1/2 cup chopped shallots (3 shallots)
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

Place the dried morels in a bowl and pour 2 cups boiling water over them. Set aside for 30 minutes. Scoop the morels from the water with a slotted spoon, reserving the liquid. You should have 2 cups; if not, add water to make 2 cups. Drain the morels and rinse once more. If some of the mushrooms are large, cut into 2 or 3 pieces. Pour the mushroom liquid through a coffee filter or paper towel, discarding the gritty solids. Set the mushrooms and the liquid aside separately.

Meanwhile, remove and discard the stems of the porcini and rub any dirt off the caps with a damp paper towel. Don't rinse them! Slice thickly and set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock with the 2 cups of reserved mushroom liquid and bring to a simmer.

In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the pancetta and shallots over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add the morels and porcini and saute for another 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with butter. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add 2 full ladles of the chicken stock mixture to the rice plus the saffron, salt, and pepper. Stir and simmer over low heat until the stock is absorbed, 5 to 10 minutes. Continue to add the stock mixture, 2 ladles at a time, stirring every few minutes. Each time, cook until the mixture seems a little dry before adding more of the stock mixture. Continue until the rice is cooked through, but still al dente, about 25 to 30 minutes total. When done, the risotto should be thick and creamy and not at all dry. Off the heat, stir in the Parmesan cheese. Serve hot in bowls with extra cheese.

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