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Risotto-phobic seeks simple recipe for mushroom risotto (& tips)

My husband loves risotto, and I would like to make it for him on Valentines Day. Does anyone have a simple mushroom risotto recipe using few ingredients (mushrooms, garlic, onions, rissoto, EVOO, white wine & few others)? Also, any risotto tips? I have attempted it once before and it didn't turn out well. Thanks!

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  1. Can you elaborate a bit on what went wrong when you tried it before?

    If you have access to a copy of Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything: The Basics, there's a real simple recipe in there for risotto. Until I tried his recipe I was sort of afraid to try it, too, but he makes it seem doable--and if you follow his direction it actually is.

    1. Let me try to help. I make mushroom risotto at least once a week.

      First, use 2 pots and one pan. Pan is for the mushrooms, pot one is for the stock, pan 2 is for the risotto.

      Buy an assortment of fresh wild mushrooms, buy chicken broth and vegetable broth (i use both for a deeper flavor and it's the boxed organic type.

      here's what i do and it's a little unorthodox.

      For 2 people

      - saute the mushrrom over low heat until moisture leave them
      - mix half veggie/half chicken stock in pot 1 and get to a simmer
      - saute about four Tablespoons of diced onion in EVOO over medium heat
      - add 3/4 Cup of risotto rice and stir for 30-60 seconds to coat the kernals
      - here's where almosteveryone adds wine until it evaporates i do not. M&M jfood tried both ways and prefer sans wine
      - add a couple of ladles of simmered stock (just enough to cover the rice) and turn the timer on for 18 minutes
      - stir until the stock evaporates at a high simmer and add more stock to cover the rice
      - when the timer has 5 minutes left add the mushrooms
      - at 3 minutes left taste the risotto for doneness
      - add a little stock at a time until you get the doneness/consistency ratio the way you like it.

      Now you need to decide whether to add cheese (parm or marscapone), butter, or both.

      We serve without either as we are watching the cholesterol.

      About

      1. i LOVE risotto. i have to say, i love the relaxation of standing there and stirring. and there's this great transformative moment when the rice poofs out, and oh, the creaminess is divine (even before adding in more butter, more cheese). i didn't grow up eating risotto, have never eaten it in a restaurant, so i don't know what i'm doing, but i have to say, i'm hooked. but sorry, none of the above blah blah blah answers your question.
        one tip that they give in the zuni cookbook is to be very careful to choose excellent broth. the dominant flavor of your risotto will be that of your broth, and all of its flavor will be magnified and accentuated in the risotto. that hit home for me big time with the last risotto i made, which was so chickeny that i fully expected to find braised chicken chunks in it. if you don't have something you love, use water, and it'll still be great.
        the hazan mushroom risotto calls for an ounce of dried porcini mushrooms, which you soak in a cup of hot water. ultimately you add both the porcini soaking water and the soaked shrooms to the risotto. i can post more details when i have the book in front of me, if you'd like.

        1. I agree with rosewater, the main thing is to make sure you use good broth/stock, with little or no sodium. The flavor will be concentrated in the rice over the long cooking time, if you use crappy stock nothing else will matter. If you're making mushroom risotto, a vegetable stock is probably best. A few other tips:

          1. Use carnaroli rice if you can find it, instead of arborio.
          2. Stir it constantly, and use a big implement that can move lots of rice in each stroke. You can get away with stirring it less in the early stages, but the closer it gets to being done the more you need to keep stirring it.
          3. Test it for doneness after each addition of liquid has been absorbed (within reason, it will take at least 13-15 minutes).

          What exactly went wrong the first time?

          1. There were quite a few good tips and recipes on this recent round of discussion: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/367466