Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cooking with Chef Veronica - Porcini Risotto

Following ma's passing, we observed her religious practice to abstain from meat & alcohol. 
I took this vegetarian class with Chef Veronica Cherry from Food-to-Serve to add new item to my repertoire.  Chef V is a very patient and helpful instructor who has loads of tips for us... I enjoyed her class very much.
Porcini Risotto is a very yummy Italian mushroom rice, and best part, it is vegetarian!  After you learn how to cook this, you no long willing to pay so much for the simple dish in those fancy restaurants.


What you will need:

300g       Arborio rice                       
500ml    Vegetable Stock (must be hot at all time)
3 tbsp    Olive oil                               
2              Shallots                               
60-80g   Porcini mushroom (Soak 30minutes before use), Keep the soaking water
2 tbsp    Freshly grated parmesan cheese                                             
30g         Butter                   Cube, keep cold
1 tbsp    Fresh herbs (Parsley, chives, chervil)
Salt & Pepper to taste.
How to do it:
1) Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a deep sauté pan and add the shallot to fry for 2-3 minutes or until softened. Stir in the rice and to coat with oil.  Allow the rice to cook for 1-2 minutes.
2) Add 1-2 ladles of stock to rice. Stir the rice and allow the rice to absorb the stock.   Add the porcini mushroom into the risotto. Cook the rice for 1-2 minute and add the soaking water to the risotto for extra flavour.
It is important not to add too much stock to the risotto. Only add the stock a ladleful at a time, allowing each addition of stock to be absorbed before adding another ladle.
3) When the risotto is al dente (firm to the bite), remove the pan from the heat. Add cold butter a few cubes at a time; stir to mix the butter into the risotto. The risotto should be moist and creamy at this stage.  Add in some grated parmesan cheese into the creamy risotto. Season the risotto with salt and pepper.
4) Garnish with fresh herb and grate some more parmesan cheese if desire. Serve immediately.


Adding cold butter to the rice allows the proper emulsifying...  otherwise you may end up with oily rice.

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