Man and dog: partners in crime – and the punishment that follows…
Risotto with dried porcini mushrooms – risotto ai funghi porcini secchi
What could have caused the frosty atmosphere and that perilous pile of washing up chez Rowe?
Well, with the nights drawing in, you can hardly blame Trota for wanting heart-warming indulgent food. And what better than a creamy melting risotto, full of the flavours of autumn?
This is such a classic dish we thought we’d featured it long ago! The Rowes make this risotto often: it is quick and it relies on larder staples that are always available chez Rowe. The only twist – there was bound to be a twist – is that Trota has recently discovered the benefits of dry-toasting rice in a separate pan. No more soggy risotto!
So, for the usual two folks, you will need: 150g Carnaroli (or Vialone Nano) risotto rice, 15g good quality dried porcini mushrooms, 1 small shallot very finely chopped, 500ml good quality stock (kept hot in a separate pan), 30g freshly grated parmesan cheese, 15g butter, small bunch of flat-leaf parsley finely chopped, and olive oil.
At least one hour before you start cooking put your dried mushrooms in a heatproof bowl and cover with 200ml boiling water; set aside for the mushrooms to reconstitute. When the porcini have softened chop coarsely and set aside. Filter the mushroom water, which will have turned brown, to remove any grit; add to the stock and keep hot on the burner.
In one skillet – and here you will see how dishwasher rage can build – gently stir fry the shallot with a couple of tbsp olive oil until the shallot goes blonde (add a little of the hot stock if it starts to brown).
In a separate pan (yup, another one) dry-toast the rice: warm a non-stick pan and add the rice, no fat or condiment needed. When the rice releases its nutty aroma, mix with the shallot soffritto and start cooking your risotto. Add the mushrooms and then stock, a ladleful at a time, and turn frequently with a wooden spoon until the risotto is cooked al dente.
Take off the heat, add the butter and parmesan and mix well – this final step is very important and is called mantecatura. Rest the risotto momentarily and sprinkle with parsley just before serving. If you like the onda (wave), add a little of the remaining stock to loosen the consistency if necessary.
A pan for this, a pan for that, and all for just one course …no wonder Salmon was cheesed off. And unfortunately he chose to share his frustration with you know who. Ooft – and no use trying to blame it on the dog!