Friday, March 30, 2012

A Mushroom and Green Pea Risotto

Mushroom and green pea risotto is another recipe I learned from helping my mother in kitchen. This dish takes constant stirring and attention, but the steps are quite simple. It is also very flexible. I used low sodium, fat-free chicken broth for all of the liquid, but part water or all vegetable broth can be substituted. The veggies are also optional and switchable.

the final product still steaming
First, I sautéed the mushrooms in the iron skillet. I used a carton of sliced mushrooms. I added a thin layer of olive oil and cooked the mushrooms in rounds so they weren’t crowded.

While the mushrooms were browning, I roughly chopped half a sweet onion and began to sauté the onions in another pot with two tablespoons of olive and one tablespoon of butter over medium heat.

After about 15 minutes, I added 1 1/2 cups of arborio rice and let the rice cook with the onions for 5 minutes.

Then I added the first of 4 cups of chicken broth. This is when the constant stirring becomes key. I don’t add anymore chicken broth until the broth is absorbed into the rice enough that it does not seep past the rice when I run the wooden spoon through the middle of the rice. This is one of my mother’s tricks, and I am positive it is what made stirring risotto fun when I was younger, making a game out of knowing when to add more broth.

This is what it should look like when it is time to add more broth.
 After the first cup of broth, I add the rest in smaller increments as to not cool down the rice too much as it cooks. Heating the broth in a sauce pan before adding it to the rice also helps with this problem.

With the last 1/2 cup of broth, I incorporated the sautéed mushrooms and 1 cup of thawed frozen green peas into the rice and cooked the risotto for about 5 more minutes.

It's almost finished. Just five more minutes or until there is no longer standing broth at the top.
 I checked to see if it needed salt here because even though I used low sodium chicken broth. I didn’t want to add any salt until all of the chicken broth was in the dish. I added about a half tablespoon of salt and stirred it in. Then the mushroom and green pea risotto is ready to serve.

To go with the risotto, I made very simple grilled chicken tenderloins and a thrown together salad. I used only salt and pepper for chicken seasoning and cooked the strips in a thin layer of olive oil in my cast iron skillet.

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