Saturday, December 08, 2012

wild truffled mushroom risotto recipe

Truffled Mushroom Risotto: heady aromas, perfect for fall and winter suppers
I know what you're thinking. "Truffle oil is so 2001." I beg to differ.

Recently, I've been expressing my disenchantment with fancy-pants foods and trendy culinary caprices, but I think truffle oil – olive oil infused with the signature heady aroma of the truffle – is one gourmande staple that's here to stay. For one thing, it's actually been around since the 1700s; we Americans just happened to come late to the truffle oil party. And then there's the one-of-a-kind, primeval flavor – a magically deep, woodsy hit of umami that harkens back to some fairy godmother's woodland kitchen.

Yes, truffle oil is pricey, but it's still much cheaper than buying a whole truffle like the one I bought for while I was recetnly in Paris [350 Euros a kilo!]. Fortunately, a little goes a long way. For me, cooking is all about ease – getting the most pleasure for the least amount of effort.

This risotto is flavored with dried porcini and chanterelle mushrooms, fresh shiitakes and white truffle oil
Risotto is one of those dishes I can make with my eyes closed, and it's perfect for dinner parties. Last night, I had some friends over for dinner and threw together a simple risotto flavored with both fresh and dried exotic mushrooms, topped off with a drizzle of truffle oil. It's creamy and comforting – perfect for these chilly, late-autumn evenings, served with a light salad and a glass of pinot grigio. Some people are put off with the requisite stirring that risotto-making entails, but I find it relaxing, especially when I do it while sipping wine, listening to bossa nova, and chatting with F-stop.

Other truffle oil uses
Generally, black truffle oil is a bit stronger, while white is more delicate and garlicky. I prefer white, and I only buy Italian truffle oil; I find the quality is generally better. Besides its obvious use as a risotto enhancer, I also like to add just a few drops of truffle oil to soups, potatoes and other starchy veggies, and beans. When I crave something gourmet but am too tired to fuss in the kitchen, I'll drizzle a few heavenly drops over pasta  topped off with some nutritional yeast, freshly ground white pepper, and sea salt.

Before I give you the risotto recipe, don't forget to enter the Smarter Cookie giveaway contest. I'm announcing the winner in a few days.

Wild, Truffled Mushroom Risotto

Wild Mushroom Risotto: All stirred up. 

  • 1 1/2 T olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped, fresh wild mushrooms [Oyster, chanterelles, morels, porcini, shiitake, maitake, etc.]
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup Pinot Grigio
  • About 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • About 1-2 T Earth Balance
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • About 1 T truffle oil [More or less, to taste]

Serves 6

Prepare your stock: Mix all stock ingredients in a large stock pot and heat to a simmer. Have a ladle ready.

Make risotto: In another large stock or soup pot, heat the oil over medium and sauté the onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Add salt as needed, to slow down the cooking time.

When the onions are soft, toss in the mushrooms and cook until soft, about 5 more minutes. Toss in the risotto and stir to coat. Cook for one minute on medium. Turn the heat up to medium-high and pour in the wine. Let it cook until the rice evaporates the wine.

Turn heat to medium low. Add broth, one ladle at a time. Allow rice to absorb broth and then repeat until rice is al dente, about 30 minutes. Be sure to taste it; you may have to cook longer.

Add the nutritional yeast and Earth Balance. Stir well, then close the lid and turn off the heat. After about a minute, mix again, add salt and pepper to taste. and drizzle with truffle oil. Serve with the same Pinot Grigio you used in the risotto.
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Kittee Bee Berns said...

oh oh much yum. i never make risotto because dazee is not a fan of white rice, but i love it so so so. and i love mushrooms, and i have truffle oil. i might have to make this for myself and just eat it all week.


Andrea said...

I love the way you describe making risotto as relaxing rather than stressful — it changes the whole process into something warm and pleasant. Truffle oil is so good, and mine is all gone. Time to buy more, I guess. Someone recently gifted me truffle salt, and it's really amazing.

Joey said...

It may be associated with the noughties, but I still love it. A bit of truffle oil here and there and suddenly your dinner becomes a special event!

Hannah said...

Truffle oil, over? No way, not in my kitchen! I don't even care if mine is a completely synthesized flavor, it's just so darn good.