Up until now, I thought you had to stir risotto a hell of a lot for it to work. I've made baked risottos enough to know it's not entirely true, but for the stovetop, I'd never deviated.
After watching George make risotto on Masterchef last week and seeing how little he actually stirred it, I thought I'd look up the recipe and see what I was doing differently. What I found instead was Matt Preston's claim of making "perfect risotto". Big call, dude... but not far off the mark!
I did everything different in this dish - from not stirring to cooking mushrooms much slower than I normally do. I was super-pleased with the results and am going to put it out there - I probably won't be making risotto the usual way again. This is way too easy for the same result!
Veggie Dad called it "pleasantly not-gluggy", among other things. I'm inclined to agree.
I used the recipe at the link above, and adapted to suit.
500g mixed mushrooms, chopped or sliced (I used button, porcini and swiss browns)
5 cups homemade veggie stock, kept warm in a saucepan
2 small onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups arborio rice
Salt and cracked black pepper
Freshly grated parmesan
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/4 - 1/2 cup cream (or use mascarpone/creme fraiche)
1. Reconstitute your porcini mushrooms in boiling water - I used 1/2 cup of dried porcini in 1 cup boiling water and let sit for an hour.
2. In a large pot, saute the onion and garlic very gently in some butter and olive oil.
3. In a frying pan, saute the mushrooms and some butter very gently over medium-low heat. They will give off their juices then reabsorb them, then go golden in the time it takes to make your risotto. Very different to my "fry them as hot and fast as you can for god's sake!" normally.
4. Add rice to onion and garlic and turn the heat up a bit. Toast the rice for a minute or two.
5. Add porcini mushroom liquid and stir until absorbed.
6. Add four cups of stock to the pot and stir. Put a lid on and turn heat down to low. Leave 12 minutes without touching it.
Seven (my numeral key won't work!). After 12 minutes, check the rice. I added another cupful of stock and stirred until cooked. It took another 2-3 minutes.
8. In batches, add butter and parmesan and stir like crazy (Matt says "vigorously stir the rice with the sort of enthusiasm you might use if paddling away from the lip of a tall waterfall"). This helps the rice give up its starch and become creamy. Check for seasoning.
9. Remember you want ooze... not glug or sludge or anything you can mould. Add more stock if necessary.
10. Mix cream cheese and cream, if using.
11. Top with golden mixed mushrooms and the cream cheese mix. Sprinkle with parsley.
If you do make this, let me know how you get on - I was pleasantly surprised so am interested to hear others' opinions!