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Mushroom and Pea Risotto

Mushroom and Pea Risotto

After a long day of breaking rocks in the hot sun, as a former co-worker would always say — in my case, that meant spreading two yards of organic soil on my garden — the last thing I wanted to do was cook dinner.

But, seeing as Monday is my Sunday I took the opportunity to make something that I’d always wanted to try and that takes more time than I generally have after getting off work and making the long transit commute home.

Risotto. Mushroom and pea risotto, to be exact.

My mom visited from Victoria on Sunday with two bottles of Cinzano Orancio (must try over ice — delicious bitter orange vermouth) and a box of arborio rice in tow. What else was I supposed to do?!

So I decided that since mushroom risotto is my favourite in restaurants and peas are a springy/early summery treat, I’d try to find a recipe in my pile of cookbooks, clipped recipes and computer bookmarks.

I glossed over the recipe for Risotto al Nero di Seppie (black squid ink) in the Trattoria Grappolo book and settled on the Risotto with Dried and Fresh Mushrooms from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything — with a few changes.

It was awesome; just what I imagined it should taste like, and not as intimidating as it seems. The boy and I had it alongside halibut steaks cooked on the barbecue. Even better with a cold Corona with lime!

Mushroom and Pea RisottoAdapted from How to Cook Everything

5 T butter

1/2 onion, chopped

2 shallots, chopped

1 1/2 cups arborio rice

salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup white wine

4 1/2 cups chicken stock [I used homemade turkey stock]

2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced [I used portobello and white]

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Melt 2 T butter in a large, deep non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until the soften, 3 to 5 minutes.

2. Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is glossy and coated with butter, 2 to 3 minutes. Add a little salt and pepper, then the white wine. Stir and let the liquid bubble.

3. Begin adding the stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring after each addition. When the stock is just about evaporated, add more. The mixture should be neither soupy nor dry. Stir frequently.

4. In another pan, melt 3 T of butter on medium. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring until cooked. Add peas and cook until peas are warmed through. Remove from heat.

5. When rice is tender but with a little bit of bite [this took about 20 minutes for me, but Bittman says it can take up to 30 minutes], add mushrooms and peas with their butter, and Parmesan.

6. Serve immediately and top with freshly grated Parmesan.

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Welcome!

If you haven’t checked out the About page, allow me to introduce myself.

I am a media hack working in print and online for a newspaper in beautiful British Columbia’s Lower Mainland.

Food is one of my many interests, and I hope this blog will be a repository for my successes and failures in the kitchen, as well as a place to air my opinions and interests.

Thanks for stopping by, and come back soon.