You can make classic risotto with saffron, pumpkin, seafood or any number of savory ingredients. One of my favorite risotto preparations is made with fresh mushrooms from Hamakua Heritage Farm on the Big Island. To make this even more delicious, drizzle the risotto with white truffle oil at the end.
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh Hamakua Mushrooms like piopini, oyster, hon shimeiji and alii, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 shallots, finely diced
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 6 cups chicken stock, heated
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano or other parmesan cheese
- In a 3-quart sauté pan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté, adding salt and pepper to taste. Sauté until golden brown and any liquid in the pan has evaporated. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside in a bowl. You can do this step ahead of time, even a day ahead; cover and refrigerate.
- In the same sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until the shallots are golden brown and cooked through. Add the rice and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the white wine and cook until the liquid is absorbed by the rice. Add 2 cups of stock, stir well and cook until the liquid is absorbed. Continue to add more stock as it is absorbed by the rice. When the rice is cooked through but still firm, the risotto is almost ready.
- Add the mushrooms and a little more stock. Mix well and continue to cook. Add 1/2 cup of the cheese and stir well. Add a little more stock before taking the risotto off the heat; the mixture may look a little soupy but the liquid will absorb as it sits. Serve immediately with remaining cheese. Serves 4 as a main dish, 6 as a side dish.
- Do ahead note: Risotto is a dish that must be finished just before serving. But you can cook it part way ahead of time. After adding the wine, add the 2 cups of stock and cook until the liquid is absorbed. Add another 2 cups of stock, turn off the heat, cover and let it sit. Just before you're ready to serve the risotto, turn the heat to medium high and uncover the risotto. Taste the rice for doneness and add more liquid if needed. Add the mushrooms and cheese and heat through, keeping the mixture moist and soupy.