Perhaps to go against one or other "culinary rule", I generally don't like my risotto too liquid. Now, stodgy, I don't go for either, but I mean if I was looking for soup, I'd ask for soup! Anyone with me?!
I have messed around with many recipes for risotto and I generally find that a vegetarian risotto is the risotto I favour, particularly with some nice porcini and chestnut mushrooms. This baked version is adapted from Lorraine Pascale's "Home Cooking Made Easy" cookbook. Just like it says on the tin, it's easy. Endless stirring and gradual addition of wine and stock is not necessary for this recipe. I'd be tempted to say it's foolproof. It is undoubtedly the simplest approach I have found to making a risotto.
This serves approximately 4 people and is complemented very nicely by a green salad.
- 10g dried porcini mushrooms
- 200ml boiled water
- A decent knob of butter
- 250g chestnut mushrooms, wiped clean and chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 400g risotto rice (I used Carnaroli)
- Approx. 150ml white wine
- 700ml chicken or vegetable stock (use Kallo brand for gluten-free)
- 1 bay leaf
- 100g Parmesan cheese
- 1 - 2 handfuls of green vegetables, e.g. frozen peas, asparagus chopped quite small, fresh green beans, chopped
- A fresh sprig of rosemary, chopped finely
- Place the dried porcini mushrooms into a mug with the boiled water and allow to re-hydrate for at least 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C / 400 F / gas mark 6.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add in the fresh mushrooms with some pepper and cook gently for a few minutes.
- Pour in the rice and stir well to make sure the grains are coated with the butter.
- Now add the wine, turn the heat up to high and mix everything together very well for a few moments, as you let the wine cook off.
- Put in the stock and bay leaf and let the mixture come back to the boil.
- Go back to the porcini mushrooms. Using a sieve and a bowl, drain all of the excess liquid into the bowl and add this drained liquid into the risotto.
- Chop up the re-hydrated porcini mushrooms finely and add them into the risotto also.
- Tip the entire mixture into an ovenproof dish and pop it into the oven for 20 minutes. And yes, it should look really liquid, don't fret!
- After this time, remove the dish from the oven and add in the green vegetables, the chopped rosemary and half of the Parmesan cheese, and mix these through very well. You may also want to add a little more stock or water and/or adjust the seasoning at this point, depending on your own taste.
- Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over the top of the risotto.
- Put it back into the oven for a final 15 - 20 minutes of cooking. When it is slightly golden on top, it's ready to be served, so plates out and tuck in!