The making of Chef Rob Bleifer’s Triple-Mushroom Risotto can help reset life’s priorities
As an everyday staple dish in Northern Italy, we ask ourselves how risotto came to be considered the realm of trained chefs, or at the very least, accomplished home cooks in America. Making risotto does take attention, like systematically stirring in whatever stock a recipe calls for – here Chef Rob Bleifer’s dish is made from chicken and mushroom stock.
Perhaps it’s because instant gratification and a lack of patience are a hallmark of American culture, especially today when answers to anything are a quick Siri question away and overnight shipping has become a standard. As a society, we all need to slow down a bit and taste the beauty of life, and the meditative process of making a delicious risotto is something to embrace, not fear.
Chef Bleifer recommends that you pour yourself a glass of Lloyd Cellars Carneros Chardonnay, take a deep breath, and gently stir his Triple-Mushroom Risotto into existence for the good of humankind…
Follow the former Food Network Executive Chef’s adventures on Instagram: @chef_robear
Chef Bleifer Triple-Mushroom Risotto
- 8 oz cremini or white button mushrooms
- 8 oz mixed wild mushrooms
- 4 cups chicken stock not broth
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- Salt & pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parm
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley optional
- Remove the stems from cremini mushrooms and chop the caps.
- Trim the stems from wild mushrooms and slice mushrooms.
- Place mushroom stems into a small saucepan with the stock and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook covered for 1 hour. Strain and discard mushroom stems.
- In a medium saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over high heat. Add chopped creminis and saute for 3 minutes. Season with salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper, reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until the mushrooms have released and then reabsorbed their liquid. Add the onions to the cooked creminis, lower the heat to medium-low and cook for about 7 minutes, or until the onions are wilted, but not browned. Add the garlic and rice and saute for 1 minute, until the garlic is fragrant and the rice is completely coated in oil.
- Add the white wine and stirring often, let reduce completely.
- Add 2 ladles of hot chicken/mushroom stock to the rice and stir often, until almost the stock is completely absorbed. Repeat with remaining stock until the rice is tender, but not mushy. If all of the stock has been used and the rice is still undercooked, add water 1 ladle at a time, until the rice is tender.
- Remove the pan from the heat, stir in grated and season with salt and pepper as needed.
- Heat a large saute pan over high heat. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil and saute the mushrooms until browned and just cooked through. Season with salt & pepper, deglaze with the remaining 1/4 cup of wine and let the wine reduce completely.
- If the risotto has thickened too much, add a touch more of the hot stock or water, until the proper consistency. (Perfect risotto is neither pasty nor soupy.)
- Transfer the risotto to a serving dish and top with the sauteed mushrooms.
- Top with chopped parsley, if desired.
- Serve, as in Italy, as its own course, or serve it as a side dish to virtually any fish, chicken, pork, or beef dish.