Heidi Adkisson, a former professional chef and now the Editor of Ward Street Bistro, is back and is cooking up a great Risotto! Not long ago, Heidi showed us how to make Berry Fruit Crisp which was fantastic!
She has been keeping busy doing scrumptious looking photo-tutorials at the Ward Street Bistro. (For example, the Corn Fritter Casserole is a “light” take on a southern classic, and the Market Seafood Chowder is to die for!) I am delighted to welcome Heidi back to startcooking.com!
Risotto with Tomatoes and Mushrooms
by Heidi Adkisson
Ah, risotto. Rumors are it requires constant stirring during a 20-minute cooking period. It sounds daunting. But, the fact is, you can make a delicious risotto-style rice dish with no stirring required. I’m going to share with you my mushroom-and-tomato version. It makes a special side dish for a larger meal – or works as the centerpiece for a vegetarian meal.
Here are the ingredients….
…but I want to focus a minute on the rice. Using the right type of rice (Arborio) is important to get the moist texture that characterizes risottos. Arborio is a medium-grained Italian rice that’s high in starch, which results in a creamier texture than long-grained rice.
1) We’ll start with 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice. To concentrate the flavors, drain the tomatoes in a colander (reserving the juice for another use).
2) To pull additional moisture from the tomatoes, sprinkle them with 1 teaspoon of salt.
3) Stir to incorporate the salt evenly. Let this mixture drain while preparing the other ingredients.
4) To prepare 2 cloves of garlic, first peel the cloves. To loosen the skins, I give the them a gentle whack with an old wooden potato masher, but the more conventional method is to press down on the cloves with the side of your knife.
5) Finely mince the garlic…
…and set aside.
6) Measure out 1/2 cup dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chablis, or Chardonnay)…
…1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth…
…and 1 cup Arborio rice.
7) Place a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
8) Add the Arborio rice to the saucepan…
…and stir to evenly coat the grains of rice with the oil. (This will prevent the risotto from becoming mushy.) Saute the rice, stirring, for about 1 minute.
9) Add the garlic…
…the white wine…
…and the broth.
10) Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring once.
11) Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook the rice for about 20 minutes: you want the rice to be tender, but still slightly firm to the bite. While the rice is cooking, prepare the mushrooms.
12) Gently clean by wiping with a damp paper towel 1/2 pound of mushrooms…
13) Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Pour in 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
14) Add the sliced mushrooms…
…and saute until all the moisture has evaporated, about 10 minutes.
15) To the skillet add the drained tomatoes.
16) As soon as the rice is cooked, add it to the skillet.
17) Stir to combine.The texture should be moist and creamy. If necessary, add a bit more broth. Taste and add more salt if desired.
18) Serve immediately garnished with some freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.
This is a basic recipe that can be used with all sorts of ingredient combinations (vegetables, sausage, seafood, herbs…). Rather than garnishing with cheese, you can stir it in at the end. For extra richness, finish the dish with a tablespoon of butter. Risotto makes a great weekday meal and really doesn’t take much more time than making a pasta.
Serves 2 as a entree; 4 as a side-dish.
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