This warming, comforting risotto is one of my favorite things to cook this time of year.
Porcini Mushroom Risotto
- 1/3 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 cup shallots, minced 1
- /4 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon water
- 3 tablespoons butter, cubed
- 1.5 cups arborio rice
- 4 cups mushroom broth
- Kosher salt
- Lemon juice
For the mushroom broth:
Combine both ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and steep for 10 minutes. Drain, reserving the broth, and lay the mushrooms out on a paper towel to dry.
For the risotto:
Place a heavy-bottomed saucepan on the stove over medium heat. Add water and heat until almost boiling. Slowly add butter and whisk it in.
This allows the butter to melt without separating
Add shallots and garlic and cook slowly, until shallots are soft and translucent. It should have a creamy appearance. If it starts to look oily, whisk in another tablespoon of warm water.
Add rice. Stir well and often, letting it cook until it has had a chance to toast in the pan. It should crackle a little, which is fine as long as it does not get any color.
Add one ladle (about one half to one cup) of mushroom broth. Stir it in and reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir the rice often, allowing it to absorb almost all of the broth. Once absorbed, add another ladle of broth and repeat. Repeat until you’ve used all the broth. The rice should have a very creamy, velvety texture and appearance.
Taste for doneness- a proper risotto should be al dente. If you need to cook it more, you can repeat the process again with a little water.
Season to taste with a little salt and lemon juice, then fold in the reserved dried mushrooms.
Brandon Foster began his life in the kitchen at the Best Western in Frisco, Colorado, almost 18 years ago. His passion for ingredients and drive to learn technique led him down the mountain to Denver, where he worked in two of Denver’s most fondly remembered restaurants, The Fourth Story and Mel’s. He joined the crew at Vesta in 2005 as a line cook and became executive chef in 2010, focusing on getting back to the roots of cooking through charcuterie and seasonal ingredients. Ultimately, Chef Brandon’s career highlights centered on events like Plates for the Peak, Invest in Kids, and James Beard Foundation dinners where he could play a role in helping people in need- a passion that led him to Project Angel Heart in 2016. Outside the kitchen, Chef Brandon enjoys spending time skiing, camping, golfing, and eating with his wife Larissa and their three kids.