I have never made risotto before so was excited for this class. It was SO GOOD, I had to make it again at home and share.
It was a 3 stage process so I had to do a lot of prep work. I made the mushroom broth that would be used in the risotto – 12 cups of water.
“HSOF 9283 Vegetarian Culinary Arts I”, George Brown College, Centre for Hospitality & Culinary Arts
Now I added an extra ingredient at home. The Portobello mushrooms have their underside gills scrapped off with a spoon. The gills are a dark, rich colour so I added them to the stock for the broth along with the stems. Sure enough it gave me a darker broth which deepened the colour of the risotto.
Because of the small particles after simmering, I strained the broth through a cheesecloth
At this point I shut off the heat to the broth because I’m going out to smoke the vegetables on the BBQ. In class we did it on the stove top using this recipe.
I figured I would be doing more smoking during the summer so I got a box smoker that you place on top of the burning charcoal. The wood chips are placed inside the box. For this I’m using authentic Jack Daniels aging barrels to give the risotto and extra kick.
I’ve sliced my King Oyster mushrooms & shallots and prepped the Portobellos. Placed the smoker box on the coals, then the grill and place the veggies off to one side of the grill. Then I cover to allow the wood smoke to envelop the veg.
And, of course, as soon as the BBQ is fired up, friends come over to check out what’s cooking
It only takes about 10 minutes and they smell divine. The Portobellos glisten in the sun.
I get the vegetables chopped and everything ready to make the risotto. Once you start, you cannot leave the stove. This is why it is expensive in the restaurant. 1 cook has to be dedicated to making it and really cannot do anything else. It can take about 20 minutes to prepare and cook.
I’ve heated my broth and sweated the shallots & garlic. I then add the Arborio rice. Arborio is short and starchy. The shorter the rice the more starchy it is. And don’t wash it because it will wash away the starch. It comes vacuum sealed so make sure you put it in an air tight container to keep the moisture out.
After 5 ladles has been absorbed I taste a rice. It still has a bit of crunch. After the 7th ladle it has a starchy taste. It’s like when you are making pasta and you taste test until you feel it needs one more minute. That’s what you want the rice to be at. Because you need that extra minute of cooking time to add the remaining ingredients.
One last taste and add salt & pepper if necessary. Then enjoy the smoky flavour after all your hard work.
Raisin and Eve get a side dish of smoky mushroom risotto along with their Salmon kibble
UPDATE: Here’s a little trick for the unused risotto. If you leave it in the fridge overnight, the starch fuses the rice together and it becomes like concrete.
Save your leftover mushroom broth. Portion out the leftover risotto. The next day, pour a little of the broth in to the container and heat the risotto on low in the microwave. The heated broth will help destabilize the starch and soften the rice.