Saturday, May 30, 2009

Tonight's Dinner

I go to the farmer’s market on Saturday to pick up all things local, but today I came home with something exotic. Dave Falkowski of Open Minded Organics is selling not only his own fresh mushrooms but a dazzling variety of dried mushrooms from boutique producers in Oregon. Ask him if you can smell some of them. He won’t think it’s strange. Also ask for recipe ideas. I'm sure he has a million. Jack used an ounce of dried porcini to make this delicious risotto for dinner.

Porcini Risotto

Serves 4

1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion
Ground black pepper
1 ½ cups Arborio rice
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

1. Warm 6 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Place the porcini in a medium bowl and cover them with 2 cups of the warm water. Soak until they are soft, about 20 minutes. Carefully lift the mushrooms from the liquid and wash them under cold running water if they feel gritty. Chop them coarsely and seet them aside.
2. Strain the porcini soaking liquid through a fine strainer and return it to the saucepan with the remaining 4 cups of water. Keep the liquid warm over low heat.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium pot. Add the onion and cook over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the rice and cook, still stirring, for another minute.
4. Add ½ cup of the warm liquid and cook, stirring frequently, until the rice absorbs the liquid. Continue adding warm liquid in 1-cup increments, always stirring, until the rice is al dente. If you run out of liquid, heat up some water and continue to add it to the pot until the rice is done.
5. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter and the cheese. Stir in salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the chives. Serve immediately.

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