Richard and I spent the best part of yesterday afternoon perched up on a builders plank, unsafely plonked onto our window sill and the top of the staircase, in the attempt to hang seven, beautiful, paintings made by Richard himself over the course of the last two weeks. A gargantuan task, if you add the demands of a 4 year-old on a sunny Saturday afternoon and those of a 12 month-old, desperately wanting adult attention! After we hung the seventh frame, we had just about 3 minutes to contemplate and admire the fruits of such hard labour and marvel at the fact that no one got injured in the process, when the paintings started to drop from the wall one after the other…I could think of only one solution to the problem: comfort food! And a glass of wine…Risotto sprang to mind, as I had just made a rich and flavorful vegetable stock. If you have read my other posts on risotto you know by now that the only ingredient that will determine the taste of your finished dish is the quality of your stock. Home-made always wins. Your risotto will only taste as good as your stock. You do the maths!
INGREDIENTS, serves 4
2 handfuls of dried porcini , soaked in warm water for 30 minutes. (They need to be soft and rehydrated before you can use them)
1 leek, well washed and sliced thinly
1-2 springs of thyme
3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of butter+ 1 more just before serving
350 gr (2 cups) of Carnaroli or Arborio rice
1/2 cup of dry white wine
2 lt of stock, brought up to a gentle simmer
1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmigiano
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Stir fry the leek gently with oil and butter, add the thyme springs, 1 couple of tablespoons of water and pinch of salt. Cover with a lid and stew for 5 minutes over low heat to soften the leeks.
2. Add therice and toast with the leeks until translucent. Be mindful to stir your rice well.
3. Add the white wine and allow for the alcohol to evaporate, stirring gently. Pour yourself some wine, while you are at it…
4. Turn the heat down, add your softened mushroom and start adding the stock a ladleful at a time, while stirring gently. For added mushroom flavor, add the porcini soaking liquid to your stock. Taste for salt and adjust accordingly. Keep adding stock until the rice is cooked, this will take around 18 minutes.
5. Turn off the heat and add a generous dusting of parmigiano, a tablespoon of butter and one ladeful of stock. Stir vigorously to release the starch and create the classic all’onda* texture. Cover with a lid and let it rest for a few minutes to create the perfect mantecatura, creaminess.
Serve it with freshly ground black pepper and parsley leaves.
* The way of the waves
- Cream of Mushroom Soup (minus the cream) (thesuburbansoapbox.com)
- Fish 3 Days, Fish 3 Ways Day3: Porcini Crusted Halibut with Truffled Polenta (mmm-yoso.typepad.com)
- Wild Mushroom and Califlower Lasagna by Bobby Flay (mpcasavant.wordpress.com)