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Wild mushrooms risotto this Tuesday


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I'm planning on cooking a wild mushrooms risotto on tuesday for a birthday dinner. The thing is I only have chicken stock on hand, the one I make by simmering mostly bones onions and carrots for 12 hours. Do you think I should dilute it in anyway? Could I "cut" it with some soaking water from the dried porcini I will be using with the other fresh mushrooms? And one last question, how essential is it that I use some wine in the risotto (I could always go out and buy some tomorrow but I don't have any on hand right now.

Thanks for your help!

Patrice

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I always use the soaking water from dried mushrooms when making a mushroom risotto -- it really amplifies the mushroom flavor -- so I'd definitely recommend that. I personally like to use a little marsala in my mushroom risotto rather than a white wine -- and I do generally think some kind of wine makes a real difference in the end product for risotto -- adds a lot more depth of flavor.

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not sure I understand what you mean by stock instead of broth.

I would have liked to use a broth made by poaching chicken in water with more aromatic components as opposed to a really concentrated bone-only chicken stock. I thought it would make a more subtle risotto. But if it doesn't turn out the way I want it to it will just give me an excuse to make another one soon.

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I, too, use the mushroom soaking water from reconstituting dried mushrooms, along with chicken stock. However, I have never simmered a chicken stock for 12 hours; more likely, 4 - 6 hours is my goal.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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It really depends on how gelatinous is your stock.

I find if it has any real body or viscosity, it makes the risotto gummy.

I really prefer broth.

If you don't have broth, I'd severely thin down the stock at least 50/50 with water--or more.

As other have mentioned, use the filtered broth from reconstituting your shrooms.

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If buying some white wine doesn't involve getting your dog sled team together and mushing 30 miles through the recent snowstorm to get to the nearest store, then yes, use a decent dry white, and not too much; a Pinot Grigio would be fine. And don't stir; save that for the stock. And speaking of stock, I agree with faronem -- water it way down, then add some soaking liquid. Early on in my cooking "career" I read -- I think it was from Marcella Hazan -- that too much chicken stock tends to make a bitter risotto.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Soaking time will depend whether you use hot, warm, or cold water. Rinse the dried mushrooms quickly first, then soak in a decent amount of water (the amount doesn't really matter; just leave room for expansion). Once you're ready to use the mushrooms, use a coffee strainer or wet paper towel to strain the soaking liquid before use, and rinse off the mushrooms again / pat dry. I would tend to soak for at least several hours, ideally longer. You can mix in some of the mushroom soaking liquid with your stock, or heat / add it separately.

Also, I assume you know this, but cook the mushrooms separately, then add to the risotto for the last 10 minutes of cooking. You can add some cultivated mushrooms (like cremini, maitake, oyster whatever) in addition to fresh wild mushrooms or dried mushrooms. If fresh chanterelles are available, and they often are, at least where I live, you may want to consider using some of those instead of only dried wild mushrooms.

I usually use a roasted vegetable / mushroom stock (preferably homemade) for my risotto, but that's probably because I'm vegetarian. I reduce it down quite a bit for convenience, but I do thin it back down later.

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Don't worry, I will cook the fresh chanterelles and girolles (around 300 gr.) before adding around 10 min. before the end. I only have 20 gr. of dried porcini that I bought just because I felt it would be a nice addition to the risotto.

About the soaking time, would it be too much if I were to put them in water before leaving for work in the morning if I plan on using them around 6 pm?

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I think more soaking time is fine. If you're soaking them for that long, I would suggest using cool water, though.

Dried porcini always have a weird texture to me, but of course, it's usually difficult to get fresh ones. There are definitely some brands that seem to be a bit better than others. In any event, the flavor from the soaking liquid should be a great addition.

I have also made a powder of dried porcini once, for a recipe, and that worked fairly well for a little extra umami kick.

Edited by Will (log)
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I think more soaking time is fine. If you're soaking them for that long, I would suggest using cool water, though.

Dried porcini always have a weird texture to me, but of course, it's usually difficult to get fresh ones. There are definitely some brands that seem to be a bit better than others. In any event, the flavor from the soaking liquid should be a great addition.

I have also made a powder of dried porcini once, for a recipe, and that worked fairly well for a little extra umami kick.

I was told by a friend who grew up in Modena that they use dried porcini powder in a whole bunch of different dishes.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Thanks for all your advice(s?) The risotto was a hit. I used about 40% stock, 40% water and 20% porcini soaking water. The chanterelles and "girolles à tube" were really good. And I did go out to buy some wine. I used some Leon Beyer riesling as that's what they had and it worked out pretty well.

It took a little longer than I thought it would to cook (about 24 minutes). Maybe the fire was a little low or carnaroli rice is a bit slower to cook. Anyway, it was very good. Not yet great but very good.

On the next day, I used the leftover stock/water/soaking water to make a sauce for some duck magret. I sweated some shallots, deglazed with sherry? (xeres) vinegar, added the leftover liquid from the risotto and reduced. This was served with some tagliattele (butter and freshly ground Tellicherry pepper) and some cream of butternut squash.

I'll have to start doing risotto more often.

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Early on in my cooking "career" I read -- I think it was from Marcella Hazan -- that too much chicken stock tends to make a bitter risotto.

Can you explain your (or Hazan's) thinking on this a little bit? It doesn't really make scientific sense to me but what do I know.

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Early on in my cooking "career" I read -- I think it was from Marcella Hazan -- that too much chicken stock tends to make a bitter risotto.

Can you explain your (or Hazan's) thinking on this a little bit? It doesn't really make scientific sense to me but what do I know.

It was the author's opinion, but I don't remember whose. I'll see if I can dig out the info for you. It's been a while. (We psychologists call this phenomenon source amnesia -- knowing something but not remembering where it came from.)

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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It really depends on how gelatinous is your stock.

I find if it has any real body or viscosity, it makes the risotto gummy.

I really prefer broth.

Early on in my cooking "career" I read -- I think it was from Marcella Hazan -- that too much chicken stock tends to make a bitter risotto.

:blink: I normally use 100% chicken stock (lately the MC version, which is quite gelatinous) for my risottos, and I find them excellent, neither bitter nor gummy at all.

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Good to know my memory is still intact, more or less. From p. 243 of Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Italian Cooking:

All the flavors that the cooking liquid starts out with become more concentrated and intense as it evaporates. Bearing that in mind, when the recipe requires broth you will use a fine, mild meat broth made by boiling mainly beef and veal, with next to no bones and very little chicken. Pure chicken broth becomes distractingly sharp, and so does stock produced in the French manner. Neither is a desirable vehicle for cooking risotto.

She does recommend using the mushroom soaking liquid. She also says to use water rather than a fish fumet for a seafood risotto.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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  • 2 weeks later...

Maybe I'm weird, but I only ever use either vegetable or a mildly flavored chicken stock to make risotto. I find that their flavours are not overwhelming so that you can actually taste the rice. For my taste, mushroom stock would be too overpowering, as I like my risotto to be more about the rice, with supplementary flavours, rather than being dominated by the main ingredient.

James.

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