Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Porcini Mushroom Risotto

Good morning! I'm posting to you today from a house with no power! We lost power last night about 8 pm, and it has not been back on since. We had a crazy line of thunderstorms go through last night. Not the super-scary tornado kind, just the high-wind, lots of thunder and lighting variety. Indeed, there were a couple of crashes of thunder that sounded like they were directly on top of our house. Even Haloti was a little nervous, and thunderstorms don't usually bother him. The hubby and I were sure the power would be back on by morning, but no dice. I'm ready for the power to come back on for a couple of reasons:

1. The humidity is stifling- The house is muggy. Crazy muggy considering the AC has only been off for 11 hours. 

2. I'm worried about food items in the fridge and freezer defrosting. Especially my freezer. As you can imagine, the freezer is stocked. I would weep if we lost all that. Soups, sauces, breakfast burritos, homemade stocks, popsicles, pestos, breads, etc. Let's not think about it and maybe it won't happen! :)

3. I have several things I'm supposed to make today, and almost all of them involve the food processor. And that darn food processor runs on electricity. Grrrr.

I've got some errands to run this morning, including heading to the gym, so that should give the electric company a couple hours to get their heiney's out here. Fingers crossed the power is back on when I get home!

Another reason it would be nice if the power was on when I got home? So I can reheat some of this risotto for lunch! I just love risotto, and this one was no different. It's creamy, cheesy, savory, and just plain delicious. The porcini mushroom-chicken broth I used to make the risotto lends so much flavor. Porcini mushrooms are most often sold dried, due to the difficulties faced in cultivating them. Thanks to those difficulties, they are also very expensive. Porcini's were $51 per lb when last I was at Whole Foods. Yes, you read that correctly. 51 whopping dollars per pound. Yowsa. I bought 1.5 ounces for $2. Much more doable. These mushrooms are definitely worth a splurge every now and then. 

Sticking to our semi-meatless existence these days, I served the risotto with some roasted asparagus. I must say, the hubby and I have been having a lot more meatless meals lately and it's been surprisingly easy. I would have more of a problem with the lack of meat if I told myself I could never have it again. But, since I can technically have it whenever I want (or whatever I want) I'm finding I'm not really having cravings. If anyone out there is thinking of going vegetarian, I think the hubby and I've got the process down. Start by eliminating one type of meat. When you are comfortable with that, cut out another one. Keep on cutting back until you are either completely vegetarian or you are down to a lifestyle you can keep up. Cold turkey has never worked for me, but cutting back is working out splendidly. 

Lastly, it's time for Debby Downer. I'm heartbroken at the latest school shooting, which struck way too close to home in Portland, OR. I was out running errands yesterday when a CNN update popped up on my phone. I don't remember exactly what it said, but this was the gist "Injuries reported in a high-school shooting in Oregon". That's all it said. I don't know if everyone knows this but my brother and his wife are high-school teachers in Oregon. My heart dropped to my stomach, and I had to pull the car over. I was a little bit panicked until I read what high school the shooting happened at (not my brother's). I extend my deepest sympathies to everyone affected, but I'm extremely grateful my brother and his wife are ok. I did find it appropriate to text both of them and demand they change their professions :)

And what do you know? As I typed that last sentence, the power came back on. Hallelujah!

Ingredients (serves 4):

8 cups chicken broth
1.5 ounces dried porcini mushrooms
3 tbsp butter
1 onion, diced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/4 cups parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup chives, chopped
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper


1. In a large stockpot, bring chicken broth to a boil. Add mushrooms to pot. Remove from heat. Allow to infuse for 30 minutes. Remove mushrooms from stock with a slotted spoon, sit aside. Bring stock to a simmer over medium-low heat. Keep warm.
2. In a large sauté pan, melt butter over medium heat. When hot, add mushrooms and onion. Sauté for  3-5 minutes or until onions soften. Add the rice, sauté a couple of minutes to toast the rice. Add wine to the pan, simmer until wine has evaporated, about 3 minutes. 
3. Add 1/2 cup warm stock to pan. Stir continuously until stock has evaporated. Repeat process until the rice is tender and creamy. This process will take anywhere from 25- 40 minutes. Keep at it, you'll get there! *Note- you may or may not use all the broth. I used about 7 cups.
4. When rice is tender, remove from heat and stir in parmesan, chives, salt, and pepper. When cheese is incorporated, the risotto is done. Serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from Giada de Laurentiis.
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  1. Just now reading this. Did the power come back on? Was the food ok? My power went out in Berea yesterday but only for a few hours. The downside of summer storms!

    1. Yes, the power came back on! Thank goodness! :) No freezer items were lost either, so bonus! These summer storms are enough to make one crazy sometimes! LOL.