Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Twelve Days: Resolved


What's my New Year's resolution this year? Eat less meat and more vegetables.

Unlike losing weight and exercising more (perpetually my other resolutions), this one won't be hard to keep especially with dishes like this.


Mushroom Risotto
Serves 4

1 pound mushrooms, preferably a mix of crimini and shiitake, sliced (reserve the stems from the shiitake for mushroom stock)
1 tablespoon canola or grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup very thinly sliced leek
1 ½ cup Arborio rice
2 tablespoons Madeira
4 cups chicken or mushroom stock
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. When hot, toss in the mushrooms, in batches if necessary to not crowd the pan. Saute until lightly browed. Set aside. Bring the stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Heat the butter in a second medium sauce pan over medium heat. Saute the leek until softened. Add the rice and stir until it is coated with the butter. Add the Madeira and bring to a simmer while stirring. Ladle in the stock a cup full at a time. Allow the rice to absorb most of the liquid before another addition. Stir almost continuously. The risotto is done when it is almost tender with just a bit of a bite. You may need to add hot water if the rice isn't done when the stock is done. Just before serving, stir in the butter, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste.

If you happen to have some risotto leftover, make these delicious risotto bites, so good that someone took a bite out of one even before I could snap a photo.


Risotto Bites

Leftover risotto
1 large egg
Panko crumbs
4 cups olive oil or vegetable oil for frying

In one shallow bowl, whisk together the egg with 1 tablespoons water. In another shallow bowl, measure out about 1 cup of panko crumbs. Pour the oil into a shallow frying pan. Heat it to 325º F. Form the risotto into 1-inch balls. Dip in egg and coat with panko. Fry for a few minutes until golden, turning a few times. We served these with aioli.

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