Truffled Mushroom Risotto
From The Honeymoon Kitchen
Over Labor Day weekend I went on one of the best vacations I’ve taken in a long time (excluding, perhaps, my honeymoon in Fiji). Not only did it meet all the culinary criteria I set for traveling – more on that later – but it was with 4 of my oldest friends. I have good friends from a number of stages in my life, but there’s no denying that there’s something special about people you met when you looked like this:
Yes, that’s our 6th grade yearbook photos and yes, they are all going to kill me. (Not that Sheila, second from the left, can complain since she recently told me she’d read the blog more if she were pictured on it more often, so here you go lady!) In all seriousness, anyone can make friends when they’re decked out in Abercrombie in high school or drunk off jungle juice in college, but we all met when we were wearing Kohl’s and hand-me-downs and there wasn’t a bottle of Kamchatka vodka anywhere in sight. Bottom line, if someone who knew you in those dark junior high years still wants to be your friend over a decade later, hang on tight!
In an effort to do just that, the 5 of us convened last month in Seattle, the relatively new home of Nora – the lady on the far left, donning the lovely turtleneck sweater. We spent 3 fabulous days eating, drinking, gossiping about people we haven’t seen in years and debating whether we should attend our impending 10 year high school reunion. Thanks to Nora’s meticulous planning and the outrageous awesomeness of Seattle, we ate our way through the city from the farmers market to specialty shops to sushi, oysters and seafood galore! At some point between the olive oil shop and the mac and cheese store I found myself in my personal heaven: a truffle shop. Truffle oil, truffle salt, truffle cream, OMG, it was sensory overload. After sampling about a hundred items and sitting down for a wine tasting (oh yeah, they have wine there too…like I said, heaven), I quickly scooped up every item I could take in my carry on bag without alarming national security. The truffle salt made its way onto popcorn before I even left Seattle city limits, and has been a staple for us since I arrived back home. It takes this risotto from delicious treat to “restaurant wow,” and – bonus – adding a “pinch” makes your hands smell like truffles for hours! (Yes, I know that’s a weird thing to be excited about…it’s also weird to wear dangling earrings and a slicked back ponytail in your 6th grade picture, but what’s done is done). Warhawks class of ’99 forever!!!
- 1 oz dried trompette mushrooms (or any exotic dried mushrooms, although shout out to these – they were a random pick at the store and they turned out to be delicious)
- 4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable if you’d like this to be vegetarian)
- 4 Tbsp butter, divided
- 5 oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- salt, to taste
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- truffle salt, to taste, divided
- 3/4 cup Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- Place dried mushrooms in a bowl with one cup of warm water. Let stand 30 minutes.
- Pour stock into a small sauce pan. When mushrooms are done soaking place a sieve or fine mesh strainer over the sauce pan. Drain the mushrooms, allowing the soaking water to fall into the sauce pan with the stock. Press down on the mushrooms to remove any excess water and set them aside.
- Warm the stock mixture over medium-low heat. When it comes to a simmer reduce heat to very low, just to keep the liquid warm until it is needed in the risotto.
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.
- Once butter is melted and foamy add the re-hydrated mushrooms and the shiitake mushrooms to the pan, along with a pinch of regular salt. Saute mushrooms 5-7 minutes, stirring often, until any released water has evaporated and mushrooms are tender.
- Add garlic and 2 pinches of truffle salt to mushrooms. Continue to saute for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and set the pan aside.
- Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat. When butter is melted add rice and stir constantly for 30 seconds.
- Add wine to rice and stir constantly until wine is absorbed and pan is nearly dry.
- Now begin adding the stock, about 1/2 cup at a time. With each addition of stock add a handful of mushrooms. Stir constantly and wait until each round of stock is almost entirely absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup.
- After about 10-15 minutes begin tasting the risotto. You want it to have some chew, but it should not taste or feel uncooked. Continue adding stock until the texture is as you like it. You may not need all of the liquid you prepared, or you may need more. If you need more, just use warm water. 4 cups of stock plus the mushroom soaking liquid ended up being perfect for us.
- When risotto is cooked to your liking, remove from heat. Stir in the last tablespoon of butter and the Parmesan cheese. Add 3 more pinches of truffle salt, stir and taste. Add more truffle salt if desired. Serve warm, topped with any remaining mushrooms.