Wednesday, February 11, 2009
A quick and filling dinner - that doesn’t have to be expensive, and doesn’t have to make you feel heavy and drained of energy - Mushroom Risotto.
A big misconception about risotto is that you have to buy a special kind of rice to make authentic risotto and that it takes hours to cook. Yes, most gourmet chefs will go on and on about arborio rice being the only official risotto rice. In my opinion arborio rice, which is almost always white, is super starchy, extra expensive and nutritionally akin to bleached paper napkins kind of rice.
I have been super successful with short grain brown rice, which nutritionally is the only acceptable type of rice in my book and it is really not that expensive. It cooks beautifully to a nice creamy consistency in about 25 minutes and since it is not overly starchy it gives a nice “No crash risotto”.
The other ingredients of your risotto are highly seasonably adjustable. Mushrooms and leeks are some of my favorites.
No-Crash Risotto - for four servings you will need:
0.5 pounds short grain brown rice 0.5 lb @ $1.39 = $0.69
½ bunch leeks - can be two small stems or one thicker one = $1.20
1 tablespoon coconut oil or oil of your choice = $0.50
8 oz mushrooms, coarsely chopped = $1.50
1 tablespoon of dried porcini mushrooms - 0.02 lb @ $39.49 = $0.79
2 tablespoons of grated percorino romano - 0.04 lb @ $6.49 = $0.26 (or omit)
1 tablespoon soy sauce = $0.10
½ tablespoon dried - rosemary, sage, marjoram or thyme or use fresh if available + $0.05
Total cost for 4 servings: $5.09
1. In a large pot bring brown rice to a rolling boil with at least three times its volume of water. Use a big pot and be generous with the water. After it reaches the boil - turn down to a simmer and let it bubble for 20 more minutes with a lid that is slightly askew.
2. Reconstitute the dried mushrooms with about ½ cup of very hot water.
3. Wash the leeks throughly - two or three times if necessary - separating the leaves - they can trap quite a bit of dirt. Once clean cut into ringlets and lightly saute in a bit if oil. Add the soy sauce and the mushrooms - cover and let soften over medium low heat. About ten minutes. About midway through - add dried mushrooms with their soaking water.
4. Check on rice - it should have absorbed lots of water and be really soft and creamy. Make sure it does not stick and cook a little longer if necessary.
5. Once rice is cooked - mix with the wilted vegetables add some cheese and serve.