fter the indulgence of Christmas sometimes something a little less meat-dominant, goose fat roasted or gravy soaked is required. Although don’t get me wrong, it still is a festive, celebratory and just that – indulgent – season so lets not be eating green salads and spag bol just yet. Risotto is perfect for using up leftover scraps and cheeses but can still be pimped with indulgence and provides a warming hearty bowl of soul food when the fun of Christmas is behind you but the frost and cold still linger outside. Feel free to tag team in any other ingredients you prefer or have hanging around using rice, parmesan, shallots and stock as the foundations in all variations.
This recipe was particularly perfect after Christmas when chestnuts, cheese and leftover mushrooms were lingering in the fridge! And if you were lucky enough to be given a nice bottle of truffle oil..ahem..then a spike of it here goes a long way into disguising even the greediest of carnivores into noticing that this is in fact a vegetarian supper….
Happy New Year everyone. If not made before 2017 this is certainly one to make in the cold and bracing January days!
- 350g arborio/risotto rice (about 4 large handfuls)
- 3 shallots/2 onions, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 30g butter and tbsp olive oil
- Large glass dry white wine
- Hot vegetable stock (about 700ml)
- 30g dried porcini mushrooms
- 250g chestnut mushrooms, chopped roughly
- 100g parmesan, grated
- 50g butter, diced
- Large bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 180g pre roasted and peeled chestnuts, finely chopped or grated.
- Juice 1/2 lemon
- 200g mascarpone/creme fraiche
- Truffle olive oil (You can also use fresh shaved truffle here!)
- Begin by soaking the dried porcini mushrooms in a jug with enough boiling water to cover and leave for about 15 minutes until softened and hydrated again.
- Next, heat 15g of the butter and a splash of olive oil in a large high sided frying pan or saucepan. Soften the chopped shallot gently on a low heat until translucent and soft. After about 10 minutes, add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes.
- Next add the rice and turn up the heat to medium and toast the grains while stirring consistently. The grain should begin to turn translucent too and ‘toast’.
- After a minute or so of toasting, add the white wine which will bubble briskly and stir until just absorbed.
- Drain the soaked mushrooms, chop and set aside. When draining, reserve the mushrooms soaking liquid but discard the final part that will contain any grit from the mushrooms.
- Use this hot liquid first before using the hot stock to add to the rice. Stir in the liquid ladle by ladle absorbing the liquid into the rice before adding the next but ensure it does not dry out. Add the liquid after 3/4 of the ladle before has been absorbed. This should take about 18 minutes stirring consistently.
- Meanwhile, heat the other 15g of butter and a splash of oil in another frying pan. Fry the chopped chestnut mushrooms until golden and then set aside until needed.
- When the rice is just al dente to taste, add in the chopped porcini and continue adding the stock until the rice is cooked to your liking and the texture is still loose. (Don’t allow it to stiffen). Taste and season as needed with plenty of black pepper.
- Once the rice is cooked, add in the fried chestnut mushrooms, the chopped parsley and chestnuts and stir to combine.
- Finally, scatter over the parmesan, the 50g diced butter and the juice of the lemon. Cover the pan with a lid and remove from the heat and allow it to rest.
- Meanwhile, combine the mascarpone/creme fraiche with about 1 tbsp truffle oil or enough to taste depending on the strength that you like it.
- Once done, remove the lid from the risotto and stir in the melted cheese to combine evenly. If the texture is a little stiff, add a splash of hot stock to loosen so you get an ‘oozing’ consistency.
- Give the risotto once final stir to combine and then serve in warmed shallow bowls and top with the truffle cream and any reserved chopped parsley.