12/3/07

Creamy Mushroom and Leek Risotto


Its the end of the semester at law school. The time when I retreat to my parents house to hibernate and study for five days with my best friend. The situation is perfect because its nothing like our house: the pantry is always stocked, there's always a full supply of booze and coca-cola, and our laundry magically gets done. Since its the first night here, I decided to thank my parents for their hospitality by cooking up something delish. With stress levels being what they are, finals food needs to fulfill two requirements:
1. Must be creamy and comforting, and
2. Must produce leftovers.
(Note how I am unconsciously writing everything in outline form. Ugh.)

So what could be more perfect than warm, rich mushroom and leek risotto? (Never had it with leeks before, but suspected it would make it even creamier, which was right.) I served this with a side of green beans (leftover from the Spicy Peanut Stew) sauteed in garlic and a splash of good balsamic vinegar. It was so good, I nearly forgot that I will be taking a 4 hour evidence exam in less than 3 days...

Creamy Mushroom and Leek Risotto
2 knobs Earth Balance, or other vegan margerine
3 T EVOO
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 large leek (only the white and light green parts) rinsed, sliced and halved
1 c. white wine
4 c. vegetable broth
1 and 1/2 c. Arborio rice
2 c. mushrooms, (I used shitake, baby bellas and caps), clean and sliced thin
1 and 1/2 T. thyme
salt & pepper

1. In a large pot, melt 1 knob of earth balance along with 2 T EVOO at medium low. Add in the garlic and allow to cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add in the leek and onion, stirring to coat. Cook until soft, about 5 more minutes. Then, season well with salt and pepper.
2. Meanwhile, put the broth in a small saucepan and place over medium low or low heat.
3. Add the rice to the large pot and stir to coat for a minute or so. Then, add in the wine and raise the heat to medium. Stir until rice has absorbed the wine.
4. Now comes the portion of risotto-making called "ladle and stir." As in, ladle some of the warmed broth into the rice, and stir with a wooden spoon until it has been absorbed. This is going to continue until the rice has lost all of its crunch.
5. While all the ladling and stirring is going on, heat 1 T EVOO and 1 knob earth balance in a saute pan over medium low heat. When nearly melted, add in your shrooms and toss to coat. After a few minutes, add in a splash of wine and the thyme. Cook until softened.
6. As you continue to add broth to your risotto, taste it occasionally for seasoning and crunch. If you run out of broth, its fine to ladle in some warm water. When the risotto is done, the rice should be cooked through and not too chewy, and it should be surrounded by a thick sauce. When it hits this point, lower the heat.
7. Add in the shrooms and stir to mix. Turn off the heat and cover until ready to serve, stirring again before doing so.

Now that is some satisfying finals food. Serve with crusty bread and bracing veggies or salad.

3 comments:

bazu said...

that looks insanely marvelous. I'm also in the end-of-semester crunch- how come I don't get risotto??

Veg*Triathlete said...

Mmm, I love leeks and that risotto looks fabulous! Good luck with your finals. By the way, thanks for mentioning the HRC list a few posts down.

Anonymous said...

this is a fantastic meal, thanks so much, all I did was add some chestnuts and bacon to it and wow!