Monday, June 7, 2010

Cheesy Oozy Goodness: Risotto with Roasted Shallots, Portobello Mushrooms, Radicchio, and Parmesan

Once, when I was sick and miserable and bundled up on the couch, Chefly Husband came home and looked at me with love and pity.

"Can I make you some chicken soup?" he asked, holding up a can of Campbell's.

"No," I croaked. "Can you make me porcini risotto?"

And he did.

Mushroom risotto has held a special place in my heart ever since. The Wine Lover's Cookbook: Great Recipes for the Perfect Glass of Wine adds roasted shallots to the mix, and suggests you open some pinot noir.
Risotto with Roasted Shallots, Portobello Mushrooms, Radicchio, and Parmesan
Recommended Wine: Pinot Noir
Alternative Wine: Chardonnay

The earthy, slightly bitter flavors of this risotto are heightened by the forward fruit and similar earthy notes of the pinot noir. Interestingly, this dish matches almost equally well with chardonnay, providing a pleasing textural connection to the wine.

8 ounces whole shallots
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 pound portobello mushrooms, diced (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup chopped yellow onions
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (1/2 tablespoon dried)
1/2 cup white wine
4-5 cups hot chicken stock
1 3/4 cups loosely packed chopped radicchio
1 cup seeded, chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Garnish: minced chives

Preheat oven to 350°F. Trim ends of shallots. Peel off outer brown layer and discard. Halve shallots, coat with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Wrap shallots loosely in foil and roast for 65 minutes. Keep wrapped in foil until ready to serve.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, heat remaining olive oil and butter. Add mushrooms and onions and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add rice and thyme and continue cooking for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Carefully add wine (it may steam up when poured into hot pan) and simmer to evaporate. Start adding stock in 1/2-cup increments and slowly stir until mostly evaporated. Cook until al dente.

Stir in radicchio and tomatoes. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes more to wilt radicchio slightly. Stir in Parmesan.

Serve very hot in soup bowls, garnished with shallots and minced chives.

Serves 6 as an appetizer or 4 as an entrée.
Risotto isn't noodles, but I'd still say to hell with trying this as an appetizer. Serve it as your entrée, folks.

Normally, I prefer virgin Chardonnay, with all the crispness that comes from aging only in steel. For this, though, I think you need to break out a buttery, oaky Chard. Something that will feel a bit creamy on the palate, like the risotto does. If all you have is unoaked, though, it'll still taste good.

Pinot noir was basically built to go with mushrooms, so you can't hardly go wrong there.

And, Parmesan. I promise, if you choose to use more than 3/4 a cup, I won't rat you out. But, use the real stuff, not something in a canister. You'll thank me later.

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