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May 18, 2005 09:26 PM

Risotto? Shrimp? Morels? Help.

  • n

So tomorrow is my husband's birthday. I have, in my possession, about 6 small fresh morels which I found while walking the dog a couple of days ago and plenty of shrimp. I was thinking I'd like to make a risotto with the morels (will have to add some dried ones also) and serve it with grilled shrimp. Any great recipes or ideas? Also doing a salad and maybe those molten chocolate cakes - there will be only 3 of us.

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  1. f

    I just made risotto with morels and peas last night. I used freshly shelled english peas from my farmer's market, about 2/3 of a cup. Saute the morels in the pan you will cook the risotto in, using a little butter and shallot until they are softened, then remove them. Heat about 4 to 6 cups of liquid in a small saucepan-- for this I would not use strong chicken stock since the peas and morels are very delicate -- I used half stock and half water but made sure it was well-seasoned. Sweat a small onion, diced small, in 1 T butter and 1 T oil until translucent but not brown, then add the risotto and allow it to toast for 3 or 4 minutes. Add about 1/3 cup white wine and let it evaporate, then use a normal risotto method, adding stock as needed. When it's cooked for about 15 or 20 minutes, add the peas, and then add the morels with about 2 minutes to go. When it's done, off the heat, beat in some butter and some parmesan cheese and serve.

    A simple grilled shrimp on the side would go great with this.

    3 Replies
    1. re: farmersdaughter

      That sounds perfect. I think I'll do it. Don't have access to fresh peas, though, so I might use asparagus instead.

      Hope the weather holds and we can eat outside.

      1. re: Nyleve

        It would be just as good with asparagus. Make sure you blanch and shock the asparagus first so that it's about 3/4 cooked.

        1. re: farmersdaughter

          Fab fab fab! Delicious! Wonderful! I made the risotto - added an equal amount (more or less) of reconsitituted dried morels to my fresh ones and used asparagus instead of the peas. So excellent. Used some chicken stock mixed with the mushroom soaking water and some of the asparagus cooking water to equal about 5 cups liquid. Used also 2 cups carnaroli rice. Started with a pretty darn good bruschetta made with ripe plum tomatoes and good baguette toasted - totally didn't think of a starter until halfway through the afternoon so I was a bit stuck. Kir Royales - a nice Spanish cava with a splash of cassis. Then the risotto with grilled shrimp (garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt pepper and smoked paprika) and grilled artichokes. Dessert was chocolate lava cakes with fresh raspberries and whipped cream. And a sparkler.

          I am so happy when I make a meal that's better than anything I could get within an hour's drive of here.

    2. Risotto is such a versatile dish, let your imagination go wild. Give the risotto some color by using a diced red bell pepper as part of the soffritto along with diced onion. Chop up some broccoli florets and toss them in just before the risotto is finished cooking. Add some crunch by toasting some pignoli (pine nuts) and adding them to the mix just before serving. Don't forget the garlic somewhere during the process.

      I hope that your morels are nice and meaty. Wash them well to make sure no wee beasties are lurking in them.

      Buon appetito!

      1. Just a couple tips on the morel risotto:

        Add a bit of soy sauce to the risotto. Enhances the earthiness of mushroom risotto (Got this idea from Cook's Illustrated)

        Save the liquid from rehydrading the dried morels and use in place of some of the stock when cooking the risotto. Chop the dried ones fine before adding, as they can be kinda rubbery if left in large pieces.