Mushroom Risotto for Two

blog_ mushroom risottoTwo days ago, Forrest and I celebrated a whole year of best friendship (although we both agree it seems like much longer).  Thank you, Forrest, for “putting up with me,” laughing with me, understanding me, and driving 8 hours every other weekend to visit me, for the past (now) 367 days (and for twelve years before that).  What a wonderful year it has been!

Our celebration, like so many others, meant dinner, wine, and music at home.  Casual and perfect.  The star of the meal, besides the company, was a mushroom risotto so good, we couldn’t stop eating it out of the pan long enough to put it on a plate.  As promised, I give Forrest the credit for doing the hard work of risotto- the constant mixing.  The final product is definitely worth the effort: creamy, cheesy, and decadent.  We served this alongside bacon-wrapped steaks and garlic roasted asparagus (but we could probably have just eaten the risotto!).  Don’t wait for a special occasion to make this, and don’t be scared by the reputation risotto has for being tricky.  This recipe, which makes two rather large side-dish portions (trust me, you’ll be glad they’re larger, even if it means some extra gym time), is simple, relatively quick, and perfect for weeknights and anniversaries alike.

Mushroom Risotto (makes 2 large side-dish portions)
1 cup arborio rice
2-3 cups chicken stock
1 heaping cup mushrooms (I used Baby Bellas), rinsed and chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tbs butter
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Heat chicken stock in a sauce pan over medium-low heat, to keep warm.  Drizzle olive oil on the bottom of a heavy bottomed pot, and set over medium heat.  Add 1 tbs butter, and allow to melt.  Once hot, saut√© garlic, onion, and mushrooms until all are soft and the onions are translucent.  Add arborio rice and mix to coat with oil, allowing to cook for about one minute.  Ladle 1 cup of chicken stock over rice, stirring until it is absorbed by the rice.  Continue adding chicken stock and stirring until the risotto is creamy and the rice grains are al dente- soft but a bit firm on the inside.  This will take about 15-20 minutes.  Before serving, stir in parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with extra cheese.

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