Friday, May 18, 2012

Mushrooms, mushrooms and more mushrooms!

Let's talk about my obsession with mushrooms. It is absolutely ridiculous. But really though, I eat mushrooms raw, cooked, on salads, in pasta, even straight out of the package. Yes, literally out of the package. I could eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner if only I had enough space in my fridge to keep an endless amount. Call me crazy, but mushrooms are absolutely delicious!

My obsession started last year--Thanksgiving break to be exact--when due to a lack of carrots to dip in mustard (one of my all time favorite snacks), I eyed a pack of sliced baby bella mushrooms and decided to  give them a go. Turns out sliced mushrooms are great dipped in Dijon mustard. So great that I sometimes go through one package a day. No big deal right? They're healthy, so it's all good.

Anyways, the other day (more like two weeks ago) I was flipping through the Skinny Bitch cookbook I bought and I came across a mushroom and asparagus risotto. And then it suddenly hit me, it was the ultimate mushroom recipe. It asked for dried mushrooms, fresh mushrooms and truffle oil; it was mushroom heaven.

So I decided to try it and let me tell you, I was blown away. And so were my roommates--even the one that "doesn't like mushrooms". If you like mushrooms, try this recipe. It is time consuming and tedious, but in the end it pays off. The flavors mix deliciously and the risotto is creamy (even though it has no cream) and delectable. Enjoy!

Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto (adapted from Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook)
Active time: 1 hour. Total time: 1 hour and 20 mins.
Makes 6 servings

  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup dried Porcini mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 cup butter (or Earth Balance)
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mushrooms (I used porcini)
  • 1 1/2 cups asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 shallots, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon white truffle oil (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped chives, for garnish
  • Salt and pepper
  1. In a large saucepan, heat vegetable broth over low heat. Cover and keep warm. In a small bowl place hot water and add dried mushrooms; allow to sit for about 20 minutes or until mushrooms are soft. Add mushrooms and water to vegetable broth.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large saute pan (or wok) over medium-high heat. Add fresh mushrooms and asparagus and cook, stirring occasionally until lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer vegetables to a separate bowl and set aside. 
  3. Using the same pan, heat remaining oil over medium heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the rest of the butter and stir until melted. Saute for 1 more minute.
  4. Add rice and stir until well combined. Add wine and stir until absorbed. 
  5. Add 1 cup of the warm broth to rice mix and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until almost absorbed. Continue adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently and making sure each addition is absorbed before adding the next. Continue adding all the broth until rice is creamy and soft, about 40 minutes. 
  6. Stir sauteed vegetables and cheese into rice and season with salt and pepper. Add truffle oil and mix until well incorporated. Garnish with chives and serve.

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