I used to make a mushroom risotto from my Everyday Italian cookbook a lot. But over the years it's morphed into it's own thing. My version is extra mushroomy with a medley of dried mushrooms and lots of Crimini mushrooms added in. It's really easy, satisfying and delicious. It's also gluten free and could easily be made vegan/dairy free. This is one of my favorite, healthy, comfort foods. It goes great with roasted chicken or can just be eaten on it's own. If you're making it for a dinner party you could easily prep all the food the day before, cover and store it in the fridge and then throw it together the day of.
Mushroom Risotto served with Roasted Chicken (recipe for the chicken is included below).
6 cups Crimini mushrooms, cleaned, stems discarded, roughly chopped
1/2 cup (about .8oz) dried mushrooms*, diced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (risotto, or pealla rice)
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup red wine
6 cups veggie broth (I prefer Trader Joe's Orgainc Low Sodium broth)
4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded (if you wanted to make this recipe diary free/vegan you could omit the cheese)
freshly ground black pepper
In a medium saucepan, heat the broth to a low simmer. Turn the burner to low, toss in the dried mushrooms so they rehydrate and cover the pot. Meanwhile, heat a really large nonstick pan over medium high heat. Melt the butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil before throwing in chopped Crimini mushrooms. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. It is really important to season each layer of this dish.
Saute the mushrooms until they are starting to brown (about 5 minutes). Push them into one side of the pan. In the open space of the pan drizzle the other tablespoon of olive oil before adding the onion. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Saute the onion until it starts to brown (about 5 minutes). While the onion is cooking use a slotted spoon to scoop the dried mushrooms out of the broth and toss them onto the Crimini mushrooms in the pan (if you can't get them all don't worry).
Once the onion is starting to brown stir everything together, add the garlic and saute for about 3 minutes. Add in the rice and give it a good stir to make sure the rice gets nice and coated with the oil and butter and juices in the pan. Add in the wine and continue stirring until the rice has absorbed the wine.
Now, 3/4 a cup at a time, add in the vegetable broth. Every time you add in the 3/4 cup of broth, slowly stir the risotto until the broth has been absorbed into the rice. Wait until the broth is gone before adding the next round of broth. The trick is to keep stirring. Stirring allows the rice to release it's starches, absorb the broth and create a delicious, creamy dish. Continue on adding broth, stirring, waiting until the broth has all been transferred over into the risotto. Let it cook for a few extra minutes to make sure all the moisture from the broth is thoroughly absorbed. Then, toss in the parmesan cheese and stir it in until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
* Trader Joe's sells a Mushroom Medley that is perfect. If you don't have easy access to Trader Joe's you can grab some dried Porcini mushrooms at your grocery store or buy a few different kinds and make your own mix.
For this dinner I also roasted up some chicken thighs. I threw them in a ziploc bag with the juice of one lemon, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup balsalmic vinegar, 2 minced garlic cloves, a big spoonful of dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Sealed up the bag and let them marinate in that for a few hours. Then I put them in a casserole dish, and roasted them in a 450 degree oven until they were done (about 30-40 minutes).