well, i’m cooking again.

it took a decade for me to finally remember by culinary heritage — my father was a chef for 30-odd years — but i’m starting to have fun in the kitchen again.

i used to love it.

my father and i would regularly cook thanksgiving dinner for 400+ and we’d have a ball (a slightly exhausting ball, but a ball none-the-less).

i have no idea what happened in between, but it’s passed — and the lady sparkler is now too busy with a small child to tell me what i’m doing wrong (bonus!).

tonight was a risotto with wild mushrooms, a recipe that i picked up from a office-retreat-slash-cooking-class with Chef Susan Holt at CulinAerie (great class, btw — highly recommend it).

full recipe after the jump.

main ingredients:

  • 6-8 cups of chicken broth
  • 1/2 lbs of assorted wild mushrooms
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, diced very fine
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups of arborio rice (fino or superfino)
  • 4 ounces of Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

for sautéing the mushrooms:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

cooking instructions:

  1. bring the stock to a boil, and skim off any of the impurities that collect at the top.
  2. chop the mushrooms. put half each of the butter and oil in the pan, and wait for the butter foam to die down. add half the mushrooms, leaving plenty of room for the mushrooms to breathe. don’t over stir, cooking for about 2 minutes before flipping them to the other side. cook for another 2 minutes, and then stir until brown. take off heat, and salt to taste (about two passes with a shaker). repeat with other half of butter, oil and mushrooms.
  3. dice the onion. in the biggest pot you can find, melt the butter and add the olive oil. immediately add the onions. medium heat. stir with a wooden spoon, until they become translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. add the rice, and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. still medium heat.
  5. ladle in 1 cup of hot stock. stir continuously until the liquid is absorbed (you’ll know because the risotto will start pushing back on the spoon). add another cup of stock, stirring continuously until absorbed. keep repeating (i used 6+ cups of broth total) until the rice is al dente, using only as much stock as you need. if you are unsure if the rice is done, you probably need to cook it longer (it took forever).
  6. remove from heat. stir in the Parmesan cheese, then the cooked mushrooms. be prepared to add more stock, until the risotto stirs easily.
  7. plate and serve.