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Creamy Exotic Mushroom and Blue Cheese Risotto

March 26, 2013

Autumn means comfort food. After all the salads and light meals throughout the hot summer our thoughts turn to casseroles, big bowls of pasta, thick velvety soups, risottos. I love this time of year. Finally, that blustery south easterly wind is blowing autumn to our shores. The nights are lengthening and the days are getting shorter. I would say this is definitely my favourite of the four seasons. I am not so keen on the rainy, windy, dark winter months but this time of year when the mornings and evenings are clear and crisp with just a hint of moisture in the air and the intense heat of the summer has disappeared to be replaced by deliciously cooler days filled with sunshine and blue skies is the time that I come into my own. I feel a renewed energy and my kitchen once again beckons me into it’s warmth and I create magic, comforting meals, steam rising in a delicious aromatic fog from the pots to envelope me. When my husband comes in from work in the evening he breathes deeply and appreciatively and settles down to tell me about his work day and ask about mine, our hands wrapped around a glass of red wine, the difficulties of the day slipping away while we chat or sit in companionable silence, sipping on our wine and enjoying the delicious meal that I prepared a bit earlier. I love a creamy risotto and could enjoy it often if I weren’t watching my carb intake but sometimes it just makes the perfect meal. Recently we have been able to purchase the most gorgeous exotic mushrooms here in South Africa and, after almost two years of not being able to eat them, I am loving them! These little babies come onto the shelves of our food stores courtesy of Nouvelle Mushrooms and are fabulous!

A couple of years ago I really got into cooking my own risottos and at the same time I also became rather keen on mild blue cheese after tasting some at a Simonsberg tasting. So, a few weeks ago, I decided to combine these wonderful ingredients and made the most deliciously creamy exotic mushroom and blue cheese risotto. I promised that I would post the recipe but then my computer started playing silly buggers and I had to wait. Anyway, my carnivore hubby asked again last night if I would make the risotto as we had picked up more mushrooms but unfortunately I did not have any arborio rice left….so instead it became a fantastic Meatless Monday meal.

CREAMY EXOTIC MUSHROOM AND BLUE CHEESE RISOTTO WITH WALNUTS

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Serves : 4

INGREDIENTS:

50g butter
30ml Olive Oil
200g Exotic Mushrooms, wiped clean and the bigger ones chopped up
200g Baby Button Mushrooms wiped clean and thinly sliced
2 Medium sized Onions – peeled and finely chopped
2 Cloves of Garlic – peeled and finely chopped or grated
4 or 5 sprigs fresh Thyme – leaves only
500g Arborio Rice
180ml Dry White Wine
1 ½ Liters Chicken or Vegetable Stock *
30g Finely Grated Parmesan Cheese
150g Simonzola or other Blue Cheese
Freshly ground Black Pepper
15ml chopped fresh parsley
20g Walnuts – dry roasted in a pan and set aside, chop roughly when cool

*I love making my own stocks at home but if I don’t have any and time is short I only use my fave NoMU Fond product in Lamb, Beef, Chicken and Vegetable Flavours – this fabulous concentrated liquid stock product contains no artificial colourants, flavor enhancers or preservatives and are gluten-free!* WINNER!

METHOD:

  • Bring hot stock to a boil in a medium sized saucepan. Turn heat down and allow it to simmer gently. You need to add it to the rice saucepan while it is very hot! Keep a soup ladle handy for use when needed
  • Melt the butter and oil in a large, heavy, saucepan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, garlic, thyme and a good grinding of black pepper and sauté for a few minutes until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon, leaving the excess butter and oil in the saucepan.
  • Add the onion to the same saucepan and sauté until limp and translucent. Add the rice and stir well to coat it all with the oil and butter mixture.
  • Add the wine all in one go, bring to a quick boil and reduce liquid for 2 or 3 minutes.
  • Add half the sautéed mushrooms back to the saucepan then begin adding the hot simmering stock, a ladle at a time, stirring all the time so that the rice doesn’t start sticking to the pan. Stirring is good for the rice as it removes the starch that sticks to the rice and makes a deliciously creamy risotto.
  • Continue adding each ladle of stock when the liquid in the saucepan is almost but not quite absorbed. Continue until the stock is finished, stirring throughout. This should take about 20 minutes. The rice should be puffed up and tender but still a bit al dente in the middle (toothsome) The last of the sautéed mushrooms should be added back into the saucepan when the last of the stock gets ladled in. Stir gently until the  stock is almost absorbed but there must still be some visible otherwise your risotto will be dry.
  • Add the cream and stir it through the risotto together with the finely grated Parmesan cheese and the crumbled blue cheese.
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. I find you don’t need to add much salt as the stock and cheeses provide enough.
  • Drizzle with Truffle Oil or Olive Oil (optional) then garnish with Parmesan shavings, chopped fresh flat leaf parsley and the toasted walnuts.

 

 Enjoy!

browniegirl xx

17 Comments leave one →
  1. March 26, 2013 1:55 PM

    This sounds right up my alley! Nothing beats creamy mushroom risotto and a taste of blue cheese. Yum!

    • Colleen permalink*
      March 28, 2013 12:15 AM

      It is just a perfect combination of flavours Sir. Just fabulous! Thank you for the visit and comment xx

  2. March 26, 2013 2:09 PM

    Delicious Colleen. The perfect comfort food it doesn’t matter what seaon. Can’t wait to make risotto again xx

    • Colleen permalink*
      March 28, 2013 12:15 AM

      Thank you Tami! Happy Easter to you, Anton and the kiddies xx

  3. March 26, 2013 2:13 PM

    You had me at the blue cheese! I bet this was fabulous Colly, lovely to see you blogging again 🙂

    • Colleen permalink*
      March 28, 2013 12:17 AM

      It is stunning Sue….the flavours are sublime! And thank you so much. I am trying to get into it fairly regularly again but it is hard. Not too much mojo yet and soon it will be full steam ahead for the Indaba xx

  4. March 26, 2013 4:33 PM

    This looks so yummy..I am so hungary and all I have to eat tonight is Mac and Cheese!

    • Colleen permalink*
      March 28, 2013 12:18 AM

      Do give it a go Des, it is really good! 😉 And thanks so much for visiting my blog and commenting. I love interacting with my visitors. Happy Easter to you and Rob and the guys! xx

  5. March 26, 2013 5:19 PM

    that just looks so good

    • Colleen permalink*
      March 28, 2013 12:19 AM

      Thank you so much Melanie xx

  6. March 27, 2013 5:57 PM

    Sounds fabulous, Colleen. Love risotto and can’t wait to make this one. Thanks. xxx

    • Colleen permalink*
      March 28, 2013 12:24 AM

      Thank you for the visit and comment Jenny. Great to see you here. Please let me know how it turns out when you try it. We really enjoyed it immensely! Wishing you, Peter and family a Blessed and Happy Easter xx

  7. March 30, 2013 6:00 PM

    This looks lovely. I love mushrooms so will certainly try this!

    • Colleen permalink*
      May 7, 2013 8:49 PM

      Dankie Weg, thanks for the visit and I hope you enjoy this as much as we did 🙂

  8. April 5, 2013 4:55 AM

    This is confortfood at its best, the combinations of flavours sound wonderful.
    A recipe that needs to be made.

    • Colleen permalink*
      May 7, 2013 8:50 PM

      Definitely! Hope you enjoy it Ambelene, 😉 thanks so much for all the lovely comments on the blog xx

  9. April 5, 2013 4:59 AM

    Looks beautiful, the combination of flavors sound wonderful.

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