Harford dining: Porcini Risotto

Fresh porcini mushrooms, with their earthy flavor and aroma, are an exciting find. At Scotto’s Cafe, chef-owner Victor Scotto takes advantage of the prized mushroom’s late fall season with a decadent dish of porcini risotto (available as a special during December). With mushrooms sautéed in butter and wine, combined with rice and finished with Parmigiana and Gorgonzola cheeses, the traditional Italian rice dish is creamy, luxurious and intensely flavorful.

Porcini Risotto
Serves 4-6

 4 cups chicken stock
 2 ounces porcini mushrooms
 3 Tablespoons butter
 1 medium onion, diced
 2 cups Carnaroli rice
 2/3 cup dry white wine
 2/3 cup grated Parmigiana cheese
3/4 cup (3 ounces) Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1    In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the stock to a boil. Add the porcini mushrooms.

2    Remove the pan from the heat and set aside for 30 minutes.

3    Using a slotted spoon, remove the mushrooms from the stock.

4    Reheat the stock to a simmer and keep warm over low heat.

5    In a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add the onion and mushrooms and cook until the onions are tender but not brown, about 3 minutes.

6    Add the rice and stir to coat with butter. Add the wine and simmer until the wine has almost evaporated, about 3 minutes.

7    Add one-half cup of warm stock and stir until almost completely absorbed.

8    Continue with the remaining stock, adding one-half cup at a time and allowing each addition to be absorbed, until the rice is tender to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 20 to 25 minutes.

9    Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in Parmigiana, Gorgonzola, salt and pepper.

10    Transfer to serving plates and serve immediately.

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