Why is it that the slightest how-do-you-do from Mother Nature causes traffic chaos? Also, have you ever noticed that people just don’t know how to drive in snow or pouring rain? I was both terrified and amazed by the passenger cars, pickup trucks and an assortment of other large vehicles that just whipped by at their usual speeds of a gazillion miles per hour stirring up spray and salt in their wake.
I ran out of wiper fluid, but that’s another story. I was so on edge by the time I got home that I ate half a cheese steak, a slice of pizza, a macaroon and downed two glasses of wine. For those of you who know me, that little collection of carbs is completely off the grid for me and myfitnesspal.com was categorically salty about that dinner entry.
On a more peaceful note, I walked into Architect’s house on Wednesday night for our weekly soiree and I was instantly greeted by the sweet smell of sautéing onions that provoked an “it smells so good in here” outburst from me. Architect was making wild mushroom risotto because since it’s been so cold, she wanted to have “something warm and comforting that sticks to the ribs.” It was so good, I had two helpings and my suspicion is that it’s going to stick to more than my ribs.
Risotto is an Italian rice dish that is prepared in a soffritto (vegetables, onions and butter or olive oil) to coat the grain then small amounts of liquid - broth, wine or water - are gradually added to plump the grain to a rich and creamy consistency. Finally, cheeses are incorporated to make the mixture even more velvety and totally irresistible. Risotto is normally a first course (primo) but when things such as vegetables, meat or fish are added, it stands out as a completely satisfying and delicious main course.
The Wild Mushroom Risotto recipe that Architect used is from epicurious.com. The recipe touts a “four fork” rating from previous users because it’s somewhat fancy, easy to prepare and very tasty. One user substituted truffle oil for half of the olive oil…truffle oil is expensive but the resulting flavor it adds to food is worth every dime. Another user made the recipe with wild and brown rice chanterelles mushrooms and reported amazing results.
Ingredients3 14½ ounce cans vegetable broth
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
1 pound assorted wild mushrooms (such as chanterelle, oyster, crimini and stemmed shiitake), sliced
1 cup arborio rice or medium-grain rice
½ cup dry Sherry
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
¾ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Bring vegetable broth to simmer in medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low; cover and keep broth hot.
Melt 3 tablespoons butter with olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped shallots; sauté 1 minute. Add wild mushrooms; cook until mushrooms are tender and juices are released, about 8 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat. Add Sherry and simmer until liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high. Add 3/4 cup hot vegetable broth and simmer until absorbed, stirring frequently. Add remaining hot vegetable broth 3/4 cup at a time, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more and stirring frequently until rice is just tender and mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes. Stir in Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh thyme. Serve warm.
We also had a delicious salad of greens, roasted carrots, blood oranges and goat cheese that was not presented in the traveling salad bowl because Foodie wanted us to appreciate the cacophony of colors and textures before we enjoyed the explosion of flavors. The entire meal was simply delicious and was complemented nicely with a bottle of red wine.