A few weeks ago I made this mushroom risotto and it was so amazing (if I do say so myself) that I’ve made it a few more times since! Risotto was one of those things that I put off making as I perceived it to be really hard as people are always giving out about “getting a bad risotto” etc, but actually it’s ridiculously simple! Just stir, stir, stir! I was at the Mahon Point Farmer’s Market a few weeks ago and bumped into Joe McNamee who quickly pointed me in the direction of Ballyhoura Mushrooms, which apparently were an absolute must buy! He was right of course, and I’m so glad he did point them out as I usually have tunnel vision and go straight to Gubbeen, Arbutus, O’Conaill’s and Flynn’s Kitchen!
Ballyhoura Mushroom do the most amazing range of mushrooms, I walked away with a bag Shiitake and Oyster mushroom of all different shapes, sizes and colours, and knew instantly I had to make a risotto with these. I wanted them to be the focal point of whatever I was making. Alas, I crumbled when I got home and ended up fying them in butter and salt and having them on toast! However, I did eventually make a risotto later that week and it was a beauty! I had eaten all my Ballyhoura beauties though, but thankfully my local greengrocer (Evergreen on Camden Street, Dublin) had a great selection!
This recipe went down a treat! I used a little of Glenisk’s creme fraiche and parmesan and topped it with some Basil Oil from Flynn’s Kitchen (also bought at the Mahon Market). However I made it again the following week and instead used Corleggy Raw Goats Milk Cheese that I bought in the Temple Bar market, and that gave it a lovely kick as it has such a strong flavour. I suppose where I’m going with this food rant, is feel free to play around with ingredients! Enjoy!
200g Mushrooms (I used Shiitake, Oyster Mushrooms & Chanterelles)
120g – 150g Arborio Rice (depending if you have a hungry man eating this with you! Usually 60g to 75 per person)
1/2 Litre of Chicken Stock
150ml White Wine
2 Tablespoons Creme Fraiche
1 handful of grated Parmesan Cheese
2 Shallots Finely Slices
2 Garlic Cloves finely sliced/crushed
1 tbso Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
1. In a heated heavy bottomed pot with a little salt, pepper and olive oil, lightly fry the mushrooms. Shiitake take a little longer than the Oysters and Chantarelles to fry, so do these first and add the others after a minute or two. When cooked (not soggy!) set aside.
2. In the same pan add the shallots, garlic, oil and rice and stir for about 2 minutes. Don’t let the garlic or shallots burn, keep the heat medium low. Add the white wine and stir until it has been soaked up.
3. Put the litre of stock in a pot over a simmering heat, and add a ladle full of stock at a time to the rice. Do not add any more stock, until the previous ladle full has been soaked up. Make sure to stir constantly.
4. When all the stock has been soaked up the rice should be cooked through (around 30 minutes), if not, add a little more stock ladle by ladle until done. You want it slightly Al Dente though, not soggy/mushy.
5. Add back in the mushrooms and keep stirring. Add in the creme fraiche (you can add a little more if you like!), and the parmesan. When it all has been combined serve in warm bowls, and with a dash of basil oil if you have some.
6. Enjoy with a nice glass of wine!