I do most of my shopping at the Central Co-op, which is a member owned food cooperative that participates in good deeds like supporting the local food economy, saving the environment, etc. They once gave me chocolate bar for free because there was no price on it, and they were like 'it's our fault lady, have some chocolate'. I'll never forget that moment. But then I tried to return a case of beer that spoiled without a receipt and they hassled me for 5 minutes, because clearly I look like a hooligan. That moment I try to forget. I like shopping there because I am confident that my garlic is grown locally, and not shipped half way across the world from China. When I buy mushrooms, I know that they have been picked somewhere close, possibly the cascades, although the beech mushrooms you see two pictures above where not grown in WA, but I'm pretty sure they were grown in California, and that is close, right?
Risotto is my go-to recipe when I am feeling medium lazy. Too lazy to make something new, but not that lazy that I will eat a PB&J while standing in the kitchen in my PJ's watching re-runs of Girls. I also make risotto when I am trying to impress guests in a pinch "Oh you never mind houseguest, I will just whip us up something quick" Little do people know, making risotto is just as easy as making a pot of Uncle Ben's Instant Rice - ok that might be stretching it, but I think it's much easier than people believe, and that was me trying to trick you into learning to make risotto if you don't already know how.
JAPANESE MUSHROOM RISOTTO RECIPE (print)
serves 4 as a main meal
notes: I used a variety of mushrooms including shiitake, king trumpet, and brown beech mushrooms. You can use whichever mushrooms you like best. If you only have access to one variety, that is perfectly fine. It is important to use a good stock when making risotto, as it will provide most of the flavor. The cream is optional, but I feel it gives a rich and creamy texture.
4 cups stock
3 cups mushrooms, cut into small pieces
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1 tbsp butter
1 cup dry arborio rice
1/2 cup cream
1 cup pecorino cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the stock in a pot, and keep it on low.
With a damp cloth, wipe the mushrooms to remove any dirt. Remove any tough stems. Cut the mushrooms into bite size pieces.
In a large frying pan or wok, on medium heat, fry the mushrooms until they are tender. Do not fry them with butter, or oil. Simply leave the pan dry. This will enable the mushrooms to retain their flavor. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and place onto a plate. Cover the plate and set to the side.
With the temperature set to medium, fry the onions in butter until soft and translucent. Do not let them start to brown, as they will continue to fry once the rice is added.
Add the rice and fry until it starts to pop 2 - 3 minutes.
Add a ladle of the stock and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula. Once the stock has absorbed into the rice, add another ladle full. Continue to stir the risotto, the whole time. Once it appears to have soaked up the stock, add more. Continue in this manner until the risotto has become your desired texture.It should take roughly 20 minutes. I like my risotto to have a bit of sauce with each bite, more creamy, therefore I add a bit of stock at the end. Some people prefer theirs with less sauce, showcasing the individual grains. It comes down to personal preference. You will know the risotto if finished, when it is thick, and the grains are tender. When you think the risotto is close to being done, stir in the cream.
When the risotto has cooked, stir in the mushrooms and the grated cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve warm. Can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days.