‘Shrooms in the room!

Now, i don’t usually use mushrooms in cooking – i’m not sure what it is about them, but there’s defenitely something amidst all that… mushroomyness? That makes me think bleurgh. 

As i’m not that great a cook at the best of times, with a bleurgh ingredient you’d expect something pretty awful huh?

Suprisingly enough… no!

Let me introduce you to my mushroom risotto 🙂
I may even go as far as crowning it one of my favourite dishes!
I have made it twice already in the past fortnight: the first time was last week and the second time was today, when i served it for my mum and her friend Fiona – who’s a vegetarian, so i had to use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. Which is a shame, because it was so darn tasty with chicken stock!

Here’s a picture of the original…


And here’s the lovely recipe, which i took from the book [hehe, it rhymes] cheap as chips, better than toast – i rented it out of solihull library about 2 months ago, i probably have fine the size of England…

 Easy Mushroom Risotto

Serves 4

dash of olive oil
25g butter
2 onions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped [optional! I didn’t use it, as it upsets my mum’s tum]
115g dried porcini – you might know them as ceps? [but i used Chesnut mushrooms, which the book also says is okay]
325g arborio risotto rice [don’t bother with buying special rice, just use up whatever rice you have! That’s what I did… but now I think about it, the rice was quite gooey and took AGES to absorb the stock – maybe that’s why, silly me]
900ml chicken or vegetable stock [i cheated and used a stock cube, how naughty of me]
2 handfuls of frozen peas [yummm, peas taste lovely]
salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese, to serve [but this is totally optional]
If you’re using dried porcini, then keep the mushroom water because you can use that too! (see tip at bottom of page]

  • Heat the olive oil and butter in a pan and saute the onions and [garlic]. After two minutes, [or longer, if you like] add the mushrooms and stir well to coat them in oil.
  • Add the rice and also stir to coat the grains with oil. Pour in the mushroom water, and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring until the liquid is nearly absorbed.
  • Add the peas and the stock, a cup at a time, until absorbed – you don’t want it too watery. Keep watching and stirring all the way through cooking, so the risotto doesn’t stick and burn. [This I did with my lovely new additions to the kitchen – Toby, Delia and Cecilia the spoon ;D]
  • Season with salt and pepper, stir, and let boil with the lid on for another few minutes. Ladle into four bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese [or spoon onto three plates using Toby!]

Tip: If you use the dried porcini in your recipe, you need to rehydrate them. Soak the mushrooms in enough warm water to cover them. When they are rehydrated [which will take up to half an hour, hense i used the chesnut mushrooms!] strain the water into another bowl, and use it with the stock to cook the rice. You need to strain the water as it could be gritty.

I think that parsnips would make a lovely addition to this recipe, and that the chicken stock is much yummier than the vegetable. I’m not sure what it would taste like with beef stock, probably not very nice, but i’ll have to try it out. Bad things about it: rice was annoying, as i mentioned earlier, but that could be something to do with the fact that I didn’t use risotto rice, and I think I should have used a bit more stock. I haven’t used garlic, as i also mentioned earlier, but it probably would compliment the other ingredients well. Comment me, tell me what you think!


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