Mushrooms: risotto, tortellini, and a side
|October 25, 2009||Posted by ameliaps under autumn, mushrooms, pasta and grains, side dishes, winter|
“Life’s too short to stuff a mushroom.” Shirley Conran
…but life’s not too short to stuff mushrooms into pasta or rice
Fal, fall, fall… ‘Tis the season of mushrooms. I LOVE their earthy mysterious layers of flavors.
I wish I would know more about how to pick mushrooms because when I go in my backyard after the rain (lots of it this year), early in the morning, I can see all these cute little caps in the grass. I always look under: you never know if there might be elfs!!!
So, since I don’t know how to pick mushooms, I head to the market: Morel, Shiitake, Oyster, Chanterelle, Porcini, Enoki, Wood Ear, Shiitake, Cremini… And of course, lets not forget that technically truffles are “fungi” so – if you can’t get the real thing…which is expensive – you can add a drop of truffle oil in dishes that call for mushroom (I especially like it on my mushroom risotto).
These are some of the cute little creatures that grow in my backyard after the rain…does anyone know if they are edible? I am just curious…
And here is what looks like a surreal mushroom landscape at sunset…but the funny thing is that I took this picture right in the grocery store!
To perpare mushrooms, trim the stems, wipe them (don’t rinse or soak or they’ll absorb the water). You can also use dried mushrooms which will add even more earthiness to the dish: just soak them in warm water, and keep the soaking liquid to cook!
Mushroom risotto cakes (“risotto al salto”)
Mushroom risotto* is a classic and I always make a double batch in our home because my favorite way to eat it is the next day, heated up in a pan (2-3 minutes on each side) until its crispy outside but still tender inside. It is better the next day anyways because the flavors will have had a chance to blend. Drizzle these cakes with a few drops balsamic vinegar and/or truffle oil. It makes a great presentation if you use place the rice in a ring (or cookie cutter) to give it a cake shape. If the risotto is not thick enough you will need to add an egg to bind. This way to prepare left-over risotto in Italy is called “risotto al salto”, which means risotto “jumped” (sauteed).
6 to 8 cups chicken broth, divided
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp butter, divided (2 are for finishing, at the end)
1 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 shallots, diced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh parsley (or chives), chopped to finish
In a saucepan, warm the broth over low heat. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the mushrooms, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove the cooked mushrooms and their liquid, and set aside. Add 1 Tbsp butter to skillet, and stir in the shallots. Cook 1 minute. Add rice, stirring to coat until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed. Add 1/2 cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 20 to 30 minutes (depending on how you like your rice). Remove from heat, and stir in mushrooms with their liquid, remaining butter and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley.
A few drizzle of truffle oil, as I mentioned above, add extra layers of flavor and complement the earthiness well.
Saffron tortellini with mushroom filling
1 basic pasta dough prepared with saffron*
2 Shallots, minced
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cups mushrooms, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
4 tablespoons Parmesan, grated
1 cup heavy cream
Salt, pepper, chives TT
Sauté the shallots, garlic and mushrooms. Toss with fresh parsley and add the Parmesan. Cut a round out of the pasta dough. Place some mushroom filling in the middle, brush edges with water, fold over, sealing with a fork and then pinch ends together. Boil tortellini. Bring cream to boil, reduce and season. Toss tortellini in cream and serve with chives. (Sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese, if desired)
*Basic pasta dough with saffron
2 3/4 to 3 cups cup flour (“00” type is best), depending on humidity
Saffron, finely ground in a mortar and pestle
3 large eggs (or 4 regular eggs)
(A pinch of sugar and a splash of olive oil, optional)
Extra water, if needed
Sift the flour and salt in the food processor. Add the saffron. Add first one egg and get it pulsed to a mealy consistency, working quickly. Add 2 more eggs while the processor is running. Knead dough on a marble surface. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in fridge one hour. Unwrap, knead and roll through the pasta machine at various decreasing setting until desired thickness.
Mushrooms and potatoes with garlic and parsley
Here’s the simplest recipe that tastes like escargot. It makes a deliscious fall side.
Rub the oven dish with a garlic clove then add some olive oil.
Layer thinly sliced potatoes and mushrooms. Season with salt, pepper, chopped parsley, olive oil and some liquid (white wine, chicken stock or just plain water). Cook at 350 for about an hour or until tender. Sprinkle with more fresh parsley.