I visited the Biscuit Mill and got some amazing Carnaroli Rice from the Main Ingredient stall. (You should check them out, and while you’re there get the mushrooms from Magik Mushroom! – I think that’s what they are called) I’ve only made risotto a couple of times before, but I love it and Lynne convinced me that this was the only rice to use! She tried the Australian Masterchef way of just agitating it. I proposed risotto for dinner and Beverly convinced me to try Delia Smiths oven baked risotto. Risotto baked like rice pudding? Huh? Well I looked it up and decided to give it a go. I added a whole lot of extras to mine like the leek and celery, but it tasted great. The result was a little too stodgy for my liking, but maybe I over cooked it. It was tasty comfort food though even if it was not much to look at. It seems to work and cuts out all that stirring! Anyway here’s the recipe.
½ oz (10g) dried porcini mushrooms
8 oz (225 g) fresh mixed wild mushrooms
2½ oz (60 g) butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 leek (75g) finely chopped leek
1 stalk (75g) celery finely chopped
1 clove finely chopped garlic
25g chopped parsley
10 oz (300 g) Italian Carnaroli rice
5 fl oz (150 ml) dry sherry
2 level tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano), plus 2 oz (50 g) extra,
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
Soak the dried mushrooms and, to do this, you place them in a bowl and pour (700ml) of boiling water over them. Then just leave them to soak and soften for half an hour. Meanwhile, chop the fresh mushrooms into ½ inch (1 cm) chunks – not too small, as they shrink down quite a bit in the cooking. (Chop the leek and celery and onions now too).
Pre-heat the oven 300°F (150°C).
Now melt the butter in a medium saucepan, add the onion, leek and celery and let it cook over a gentle heat for about 5 minutes, then add the fresh mushrooms, stir well and leave on one side while you deal with the porcini.
When they have had their half-hour soak, place a sieve over a bowl, strain the mushrooms, reserving the liquid. Squeeze any excess liquid out of them, then chop them finely and transfer to the pan to join the other mushroom mix. Add the chopped garlic to the mushroom mix. Put back on a low heat. Let the onions and mushrooms sweat gently and release their juices – which will take about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, put the dish in the oven to warm.
Now add the rice to the mushroom mix and stir it around to get a good coating of butter, and then add the sherry, followed by the strained mushroom soaking liquid. Add a level teaspoon of salt and some freshly milled black pepper; bring up to simmering point, then transfer the whole lot from the pan to the warmed dish. Stir once, and then place it on the centre shelf of the oven without covering. Set a timer and give it 30 minutes exactly.
After that, gently stir in the grated Parmesan, turning the rice grains over. Now put the timer on again and give it a further 15 minutes, then remove from the oven. Taste for seasoning and stir in the chopped parsley and serve immediately.
I fried some extra mushrooms for garnish.