Friday, March 9, 2012
At the top left is a good chunk of Maitake mushrooms, or hen of the Woods if one prefers. Great golden color and a definite aroma of damp woods. On the bottom is a section of yellow oyster mushrooms. Less aroma than the Maitake, and a less damp smell to them - more earthy and herbal.
I soaked a few dried porcini mushrooms in hot water until they were rehydrated and I strained the liquid into a blender with the mushrooms and pureed them into a paste. I made the risotto with shallots and thyme sweated in some olive oil, then added the Carnaroli rice and stirred. In went some white vermouth and when that was evaporated we began adding the stock. The stock was the stems from the mushrooms simmered in water.
The mushrooms were sauteed in butter with some fresh thyme and set aside and kept warm. The risotto was finished by stirring in the porcini paste, a little butter and a good handful of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, fresh chopped parsley and adjusting the salt and pepper.
The risotto was plated and the mushrooms ladled onto the plate in a ring around the risotto. Lush and earthy and full of flavor dinner. The wine was a final glass of Alessandrio Langhe Nebbiolo. Three days open did wonders for this wine, but I suspect almost anything would have been good with the risotto.