Recipe: Mushroom Risotto

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Serves 6
    • 1 quart chicken stock
    • 2 minced shallots
    • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
    • 14 ounces arborio rice
    • ½ cup dry white wine
    • knob of butter
    • 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
    • 5 ounces grated parmesan
    • 2 cups mixed mushrooms, sliced to ½ an inch
    • sprig of thyme
    • olive oil, salt, pepper Warm stock.

Sautee shallots in olive oil with salt until translucent but with no color. Add smashed garlic and thyme, then rice. Toast the rice until translucent. DO NOT ADD COLOR TO THE RICE. (If you please.)

At this point, add white wine and stir until it is all absorbed. Then start, with a two-ounce ladle, one ladle at a time, to add your stock. Add some stock and stir over low heat (a simmer). Each time a ladle is absorbed, add another. Keep going until you need to add three more ladle fulls. STOP! Your rice should have a severe bite to it at this point.

Now, start on your mushrooms. (You can do this in advance and add them in, last minute, if need be). Get a sautee pan almost smoking hot with olive oil, add a clove of smashed garlic, a sprig of time, and your mushrooms. Don't crowd the pan--do it in batches if you need to. Sautee them until they're crispy and golden brown. Don't move them around too much. New cooks tend to futz a lot. Just leave them there until they're golden brown on one side, then flip them over. Tada. (Don't add too much oil, because they'll just keep absorbing it and then you'll have a pile of greasy mushrooms, and who wants that?) Set the mushrooms aside.

Now go have a glass of wine with your friends.

(25 minutes pass)

At this point, your friends are ready to eat. Go back to your risotto. Turn the heat back on, low, and add your last ladlefuls of stock until you taste a little bite in your rice, but not too much. If you run out of stock, add seasoned water until you reach the desired consistency. Add your mushrooms. Add your mascarpone, butter, and parmesan. Taste. Add salt and pepper as needed. Eat immediately!

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Sophie Brickman is a writer living and cooking in New York City. More

Sophie Brickman is a writer living and cooking in New York City. She is a graduate of Harvard College and the French Culinary Institute.
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