Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sasha & Brad's Kitchen: Mushroom Saffron Risotto

Risotto is one of my husband's favorite dishes.  We make a number of different risottos, usually with me designing the recipe and Brad executing the recipe on the stove.  I decided to combine saffron and cremeni mushrooms to make a new risotto.  I love the flavor of saffron in just about anything. I used to be lucky enough to have saffron powder (which is fantastic, by the way if you can get your hands on it) that my mom brought back from Thailand.  With that all gone, I realized that it's a bit hard to come by, so I had to go with the more traditional saffron threads to achieve the saffron flavor.  The flavor is a bit milder with the threads than it was with the powder.

We used chicken stock in preparing this recipe, as I usually do with my risottos.  However, if you want to go vegetarian, you can prepare it with a homemade mushroom stock.  This would likely be fantastic, and is something that I have been meaning to try out, but we never seem to have the time on weekdays, which is usually when we make risotto.

Sasha & Brad's Saffron Mushroom Risotto
2 cups organic low sodium chicken stock (or homemade mushroom stock)
1 onion, diced
2 T of butter
1 cup arborio rice
2 T canola oil
About 12-16 oz of cremeni mushrooms (sliced, with the stems removed)
pinch of saffron threads
1/2 cup of white cooking wine
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

To prepare the risotto, saute the chopped onions in 2 tablespoons of Canola Oil and two tablespoons of butter.  Next, add a cup of the arborio rice and stir for a couple of minutes.  Next, add the chicken stock, one cup at a time to the rice, along with the white cooking wine. Make sure to add the stock in one cup increments as the stock reduces, stirring every couple of minutes while the risotto cooks, allowing the stock to reduce, gradually.

In the meantime, saute the mushrooms in canola oil in a separate pan. Midway through the third cup of chicken stock reducing, add the mushrooms and the saffron to the stock and rice. Continue reducing until the third cup of stock has fully reduced and the risotto has the proper consistency (tacky, not runny).  You can add the grated parmesan cheese as the final step and serve hot.  This dish was a real mid-week treat!


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