Porcini Mushroom Risotto

Serves 6-8 as a small appetizer or side dish

This recipe is a little richer than what I would cook for a regular weeknight but it sure tastes great. Let’s keep in mind that this specific dish was prepared for a dinner party on New Year’s eve. If you want to make it a little lighter, go easy on the butter…

4 – 6 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon of butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
½ head of celery root, finely chopped (about 3/4 of a cup)
1 cup of dried porcini mushrooms loosely packed
2 cups risotto rice
2 glasses of dry white wine
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
70 g butter
2 oz Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Add the porcini mushrooms to the chicken stock and heat it.
In a separate pan, heat the olive oil and butter and add the onions stirring them until tender, about 5 – 8 minutes.
Add the garlic and celery root and fry very slowly for about 10 more minutes continuing to stir until nicely toasted.
When the vegetables have softened, add the rice and turn up the heat.
Keep stirring the rice until after a minute or two it will look slightly translucent. Add the wine and keep stirring.
Once the wine has cooked into the rice, add your first ladle of hot stock and a good pinch of salt. Turn down the heat to a simmer.
Keep adding stock whenever it is absorbed and keep stirring. After about 20 minutes the rice will be “al dente”. Season to taste.
Remove from the heat and add the butter and the Parmesan. Stir well – this is called “mantecare” in Italian. Place a lid on the pan and allow to sit for two minutes.
Eat it as soon as possible.

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