Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. - Cyril Connolly
Monday, December 01, 2008
My Favorite Comfort Food
My favorite food blog, 101 Cookbooks, posted her recipe for her favorite comfort food - a mushroom and rice casserole. It looks amazing, and I intend to try it.

My personal favorite comfort food is a similar dish, and I made it last night. Wild Mushroom Risotto. It's incredibly easy, and nearly impossible to screw up. It's filling, flavorful and delicious, and you can almost always make it with items on hand.

There is no one way to make this, but in general, it goes something like this:

Wild Mushroom Risotto

1 large Spanish or Vidalia Onion - chopped
2 cloves of garlic - minced
2 TB Butter and 1 TB olive oil
8 oz of portobello, cremini, or plain old button mushrooms - sliced.
2 oz of other wild mushrooms: chanterelle, porcini, morel, etc... if you're lucky enough to get them fresh - good for you. Otherwise, take 1 oz. of the dried version and hydrate them in a cup of boiling water for 20 minutes.
1/2 cup of dry sherry - or white wine, but the sherry adds a sweetness and nuttiness, that is intoxicating.
1 cup of Arborio rice
4 cups mushroom broth, or mushroom soaking liquid (chicken stock is fine too)
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
truffle oil (optional)

Chop the onion and garlic finely, and saute them in the butter and olive oil for at least 3 minutes.
Add the fresh and reconstituted (drained) mushrooms - saute until the liquid is evaporated and the mushrooms are browned.
Add thyme.
Add the rice and saute - stirring constantly to coat the rice with oil for at least 2 minutes.
Add the dry sherry and stir until it is absorbed.
Add the mushroom soaking liquid (drained through cheesecloth for grit) and stir till absorbed.
Add the remaining liquid in 1 cup intervals and stir until creamy.
Add Parmesan cheese until creamy.
Season to taste.

If you want to get really decadent, you can add some Gorgonzola or creme freche to the final serving. If you're serving it with lamb, I recommend the creme freche. With beef - Gorgonzola.

I could have this every day and be happy. Some people love chicken noodle soup or mac and cheese - I love this.

Note - this takes a good 20-25 minutes of total cooking time, and you MUST stir the rice! It knocks the starch casing off the rice kernel and makes the dish creamy. Try this. You'll never eat mac and cheese again, and always have the stuff on hand to make a quick version of this.

Variations include: using red onion instead of white if you don't have sherry, adding a splash of balsamic vinegar, using tarragon instead of thyme, adding sweet Italian sausage, red peppers, and peas for a complete decide.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:22 PM  
3 Editorial Opinions:
  • At December 11, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This was okay, but I was glad I made the addition of grated swiss on top, a bit bland otherwise.
    colorado cooking school

  • At December 20, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ahhh, comfort food. Closing in on the grading here and got fresh oyster and shitake mushrooms at Wegman's earlier this week. I don't find this recipe bland at all but I am without my beloved truffle oil tonight (went bad from under use) so I'll let you know.

    Youngest Sis

  • At December 14, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said…

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