I love rice with everything. Because I am a chicketarian I am fairly sick of regular chicken, but adding white rice to the chicken with a bit o' butter, now you're talking. But there are better rice options out there than white. One of the better rice options is cooking with arborio rice which essentially makes any delicious risotto dish you want to create. This risotto recipe can be changed to match what you want. If your prefer asparagus to mushrooms than use asparagus. You can also add chicken, seafood, other vegetables, etc. Make it as fancy as you like. This particular recipe is a healthy version- straight out of my weight watchers cookbook. People are generally surprised at this because risotto is not known as a healthy food. Most recipes call for oodles and gobs of butter and cheese, where as this one only calls for a eency weency bit, though I never measure cheese items so I could be totally fattening my version up. This recipe also contains ultra delicious wild mushrooms. My friend M. hates 'shrooms so I told her to sub it out for something else. I hope she makes it, shes gonnna love it. Anyways, you can generally find a wild mushroom mix at the grocery store. Most mixes tend to have shitakes, oysters, and baby portabellos. Also good would be morels, chanterelles, etc. Button mushrooms don't work so well because they won't provide mush taste. You need the earthier wild mushrooms in order to really taste them against the creaminess of the rice and parmegiano-reggiano. Also please use reduced sodium broth. The cheese and the rice add enough saltiness; if you use regular canned broth the dish will be way to salty. Good eats!!
Wild Mushroom Risotto
6-7 cups fat free, reduced-sodium broth
1 tbsp Olive oil
1 shallot, chopped (or use an onion finely chopped or nothing)
2 garlic cloves, chopped (can use more if you are a garlic fiend like me)
2 1/2 cups sliced wild mushrooms (you pick, just use wild and not button mushrooms)
1/4 tsp dried thyme (can omit if you don't have)
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry sherry (can also use white wine or even red if that's all you have)
1/2 cup grated parmegiano-reggiano ( by real cheese and grate, not Kraft's Parmesan crap)
1/4 tsp of ground black pepper
-Bring the broth to a boil in a large pot or saucepan. Reduce the heat so the broth stays at a simmer.
-Heat the oil in a large NONSTICK skillet over medium-high heat.
-Add the shallot and garlic and cook for one minute ( do not let it burn)
-Add the mushrooms and thyme and cook until mushrooms soften. Should take about 4 minutes
-Add the rice and cook for 30 secs to 1 minute. Stir a couple of times.
-Add sherry/wine and cook until almost absorbed while stirring constantly. 1 minute or so
-Add the broth 1 cup or 2 ladlefuls at a time, while stirring. Don't add more broth until the first amount is almost fully absorbed.
-Continue adding broth stirring and adding more broth until rice is just tender-Taste to tell. You want the rice to be sort of soft.
-Stir in the cheese and pepper
*You might not need to use all the broth.
*Risotto is not hard to make but requires lots of time stirring. Do not stop stirring until the rice is cooked.