When the weather turns cold and the wind begins to howl, nothing warms me up faster than a bowl of creamy risotto.
Shockingly, I have never had Risotto until last year! To be honest with you, it was always the last thing I considered ordering because I love pasta so much, but one night at a local Italian place I decided to forgo my usual and try their Mushroom Risotto. It changed my world. From that moment on I knew risotto would be a part of my cooking life. I just had to learn how to make it.
This recipe is a recreation of the dish that won my heart over a year ago because, sadly, the restaurant where risotto and I first met is no more. The secret to making this risotto so rich is a little bit of Boursin cheese added just at the end of cooking. It does not make the risotto super cheesy, there is not enough for that, but it rounds out the flavor and adds a little zip to the dish. I used a combination of button and porcini mushrooms, but you can use whatever mushrooms you prefer. Now that I am thinking about it, my recipe is maybe even a little better than the original.
Mushroom Risotto Serves 6-8
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup finely diced onion
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dry thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups sliced button mushroom caps
1/2 ounce dry porcini mushrooms re-hydrated in 1 cup boiling water
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/4 cup white wine
5 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
4 ounces of Boursin, or other similar, cheese
1/4 cup fresh grated parmasean, plus more for serving
In a large pot over medium heat add the stock and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid.
In a heavy bottom pot over medium heat melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the onion and cook until it begins to soften, about three minutes.
Add the bay leaf, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Cook for thirty seconds, or until fragrant.
Drain the porcini mushrooms and roughly chop. Add them and the button mushrooms to the pot and cook until soft, about five minutes then add the garlic. Cook for one minute.
Add the rice to the pot and stir until thoroughly coated. Add the wine and cook until the wine is absorbed.
Begin adding the stock, about 1/2 cup at a time. Cook until the first addition is almost completely absorbed before adding the next, about 25 minutes. When you add your last addition of stock cook until the risotto just begins to thicken then reduce the heat to low and add the boursin and parmasean cheeses. Stir until thoroughly melted and combined.
Serve with an additional dusting of parmesan cheese.