Showing posts with label mushroom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mushroom. Show all posts

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Creamy Mushroom Risotto


I made this risotto last weekend for our anniversary because it is one of Lawson's favorite dishes that I make (and one of mine).  It doesn't look like much but it is really rich and delicious... I think other times when I have made this I have cut back a bit on the butter but since it was a special occasion I went ahead and put it all in.  Yum.  In addition to all the butter, the homemade mushroom stock is what really gives this the amazing taste, so I wouldn't substitute store-bought.  As I have mentioned, I sometimes make risotto in the pressure cooker and you can certainly do it with this recipe - I went ahead and made it the traditional way this time, though.


Creamy Mushroom Risotto
Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

For the rice:
  • 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 cups mushroom stock - recipe here
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup finely diced shallot or onion
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup cream or half and half
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese (I used a mixture)
For the mushrooms:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely diced shallot or onion
  • 1 pound mushrooms - white or cremini are fine, including some wild mushrooms if possible
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • juice of 1/2 lemon (~2 tablespoons)
Start by making the mushroom stock.  While the stock is cooking, chop the mushrooms and other ingredients.  When everything is chopped, heat the butter and oil for the mushrooms in a skillet, add the shallots or onions and saute for about 5 minutes until the shallots/onions are soft.  Add the mushrooms and cook over medium high heat, stirring frequently, for 5-10 minutes, until they release their juices.  Add the garlic, salt and pepper and lemon juice and stir to combine, then turn off heat and set aside.

Whenever the stock is cooked and strained, you can start the rice (may be while the mushrooms saute).  Keeping the stock at a simmer, melt the butter in a wide pot/stockpot, then add the onion and cook at medium for a few minutes.  Add the rice and stir to combine, cook for 1 minute.  Add the wine and cook, stirring frequently, until it is fully absorbed.  Add 2 cups of hot stock and stir to combine, then cover and cook at a good simmer until fully absorbed.  Add stock in 1/2 cup increments (tip: use a large ladle and test in advance to see how much liquid it holds so you know about how much you are adding) - stir continually after adding stock until fully absorbed and then add the next increment.  Add the mushrooms about halfway through or later.  After you have added the required about of stock and the rice is well cooked, add the cream and stir thoroughly.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Stir in the cheese, remove from heat and serve!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Sauteed Mushroom and Leek Crepes


I made these crepes for dinner a few weeks ago, and wasn't totally thrilled with the seasonings, so I made them again and tweaked the recipe this past weekend, subbing other herbs for the terragon.  I liked them a lot better this way, but Lawson says he liked the original way better, so I am including both variations... I guess it depends if you are a terragon person or not.  These are from a crepe cookbook that a friend gave me a few years ago, and looking through these recipes made me want to make crepes more often!  I am looking forward to experimenting with different fillings and different ways of wrapping/putting together the crepes.  We served the crepes for brunch with an old favorite french lentil salad, green salad and mimosas.  We're starting the new year off right around here!

I made the crepes with King Arthur Flour's white whole wheat, and I found that they had a full, nutty flavor but weren't as heavy as regular whole wheat (and I didn't use any regular all purpose mixed in, they were 100% white whole wheat).  King Arthur says it is a different variety of wheat than regular whole wheat, but is still a whole grain, so that is good news for those of us trying to incorporate more whole grains into our diets.  This is the second time I have had this flour, the first time was actually an accident - I had asked Lawson to get unbleached white flour at the store and this is what came home - so I used it a bit and decided I liked it.  I am looking forward to doing some more experimenting with this flour.

Sauteed Mushroom and Leek Crepes
Adapted from Crepes, Sweet and Savory Recipes for the Home Cook

For the crepes:
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cup flour - I used white whole wheat, if you don't have that, you could use 1/2 regular whole wheat and 1/2 white flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter, plus some additional butter for coating the pan
Blend all the ingredients together in a blender or food processor for a few seconds, stopping and scraping down the sides if needed to make sure that everything gets well mixed together.  Cover and refrigerate 1-2 hours or longer (overnight is fine).  Stir the batter to mix it back up, then heat a crepe pan over medium heat until hot (if you don't have a crepe pan, you should be able to use a regular skillet, particularly if it is non-stick), coat the pan lightly with butter.  With the pan off the heat, pour 2-3 tablespoons of batter on one side and then rotate the pan to get the batter to spread over the whole surface.  Cook on the heat until the crepe is nearly dry on top and the edges start to brown - 1-2 minutes.  Use a metal spatula to lift the edge and flip the crepe, then cook the other side for 15-30 seconds, until lightly browned in spots.  Stack the crepes on a plate when they are done and repeat until you have used all the batter.  You can make the crepes in advance - they should keep in the fridge for a few days if covered with plastic wrap, or you can freeze them in zip-top bags.

For the filling:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5-6 leeks, washed and chopped (white and light green parts only)
  • 6-8 ounces cremini mushrooms or wild mushrooms (if available), chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup - 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded gruyere cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves and 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram 
  • OR 1/2 teaspoon dried terragon instead of herbs above (depending on your preference)
  • salt
To make the filling, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium to large skillet, then saute the leeks over medium heat for about 15 minutes, until they are soft and starting to brown.  Add the mushrooms and the herbs and saute until the mushrooms release their juices, 4-5 minutes.  In a large bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients together with the mushrooms and leeks.



Preheat oven to 350 F and and grease a 9'x13' baking dish.  To assemble the crepes, put 1/3-1/2 cup of filling in the center of each crepe and fold the sides in, and then fold the top and bottom over as shown above.  Place the folded crepes with the open side down in the baking pan and then either brush the tops with more olive oil, or spray with olive oil spray (this is what I did and it worked fine) - or you could probably skip the brushing/spraying and it would be fine.  Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until fully heated through.  Enjoy - they taste best warm but would also be fine at room temp, I think.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Mushroom Barley Risotto


A couple years ago, I went on a risotto-making kick.  I made risotto once and was so excited by how delicious it was that I made it again and again for a few months, despite all the stirring involved.  I wasn't thrilled about the fact that the main ingredient in traditional risotto, arborio rice, is basically glorified white rice and has about the same nutritional value.  Not to mention that risotto usually involves a healthy amount of butter, cream, and cheese.  For these reasons and also just because my interest faded over time (especially because of all the stirring), I stopped making so much risotto.  The favorite by far of all the risottos I made during that time was a mushroom risotto with homemade mushroom stock, it was really sublime.

So, flash forward to last winter when I saw this on smitten kitchen, which inspired me to think about barley risotto, and this at the New York Times, which got me started making risotto in the pressure cooker.  These two ideas pretty much addressed my main concerns with risotto, the time and effort it takes to prepare, and the refined white rice issue (not that barley makes it a health food, but its certainly better).  As a result, I made a variation of barley risotto quite a lot last winter, usually with mushrooms and either beans or greens added (or both).


Making risotto of any kind in a pressure cooker is great since it cooks twice as fast, or more, and you don't have to stand over it and stir it.  It can be a bit scary, though, since you can't see what is happening and I have more than once accidentally burned the risotto.  I find that the best approach is to err on the side of adding a bit more liquid to make sure it doesn't burn, since you can always cook it off after you depressurize.  If you don't own a pressure cooker, I highly recommend it, both for risotto and for making beans (you can cook a pot of beans in 30-40 minutes without any pre-soaking), but you can also make this recipe the traditional way (you should be able to basically follow smitten kitchen's directions).  I have a fagor pressure cooker similar to this one which I got as a college graduation present and it is still going strong.



I usually go whole hog and make this using homemade mushroom stock rather than storebought, it really tastes much, much better.  The recipe for stock is below the recipe for the risotto and you can make a big batch in advance and freeze it to have on hand - it's also delicious for mushroom sauces, soup broth and I am sure many other things!

Mushroom Barley Risotto with White Beans
  • Olive oil (and butter, optional)
  • 1-2 shallots, finely diced (or 1/2 white onion)
  • 2 cups uncooked pearled barley
  • 1/2 cup white wine (optional)
  • 6 cups mushroom stock, warm/hot if possible (see below for recipe)
  • 4-6 ounces cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried or fresh thyme (or more to taste)
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups cooked white beans (from a can or previously cooked)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, half and half, or milk
  • 1/4 cup grated romano or parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in open pressure cooker pot, add shallots and saute for a few minutes over medium heat until tender.  Add dry barley and stir to coat with oil, cook while stirring frequently for 1-2 minutes.  Add white wine if using and stir until absorbed.  Add mushroom stock and cover the pressure cooker and bring to pressure.  Cook for 25-30 minutes then turn off heat and allow to depressurize.  While risotto is cooking, saute mushrooms and thyme in another 1 tablespoon of oil (or oil and butter if preferred).  Cook until mushrooms release their juices, then cook for a few minutes more and then turn off heat.  After risotto is depressurized, open pressure cooker and stir, adding warm water or more stock if it seems dry.  Check the barley to see if it needs to be cooked longer (it will stay a bit chewier than a traditional risotto), and continue to cook if needed, adding water or stock as needed.  When barley seems adequately cooked, stir in the mushrooms and white beans, and stir to combine.  Turn off the heat and stir in the cream, grated cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.  Serve warm.


Mushroom Stock
Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
  • 1/2 - 1 ounce dried porcini or other mushrooms (about 1/2 - 1 cup)
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2-3 cups chopped mushrooms (mushroom stalks are fine - I save mine in the freezer to use)
  • 1 cup chopped leek greens (again, I save these in the freezer)
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 4-6 thyme sprigs, or 1/4-1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 6-10 sage leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 4-5 stalks of parsley
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 2-3 teaspoons salt
Cover the dried mushrooms with 1 1/2 cups hot water and let rehydrate.  In a large stockpot, saute the onions, carrots and celery over medium high heat for about 15 minutes, until the onion browns.  Add the dried mushrooms and their liquid, all the other ingredients, and 10-11 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer partially covered for 40-45 minutes.  Strain out the vegetables and herbs and keep the broth (you can discard the solids).  Use fresh or freezes well.
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