Morel Mushroom Risotto
So maybe I’m just desperate for Spring to get here but I was craving morel mushrooms! Usually early spring is Morel Mushroom season in Wisconsin but they were pretty late popping up around here last year due to winter that lasted into April………………………………….but they eventually did arrive! Hopefully I won’t have to wait quite as long this year!
Usually if we have a season where we have a LOT of them, my family will dry them or dehydrate them put them in a jar and we can enjoy them all year long. It’s simple to use them once they are dried- you basically just cover them with boiling water for about 10 minutes and let them reconstitute. This recipe can use both fresh or dried morels. If you use the dried, you use some of the liquid used to reconstitute the mushrooms as liquid in the risotto and it’s to.die.for. Seriously, love it.
If you’ve never tried morels you should! They look a little funky but trust me, they’re delicious! Now I understand that if you don’t live where they may grow wild they can be pricey (like $30/pound) so I give you permission to use any mushrooms you want for this one 🙂 but if you can, try the morels!
- 1 quart stock, chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 2-3 cups water
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup minced shallot, leek or onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups risotto rice (Arborio Rice)
- 1/2 pound fresh morels, or 1 ounce dried
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives or parsley
- 1/2 cup grated pecorino or parmesan cheese
FOR FRESH MORELS
- Pour the stock and 2 cups water into a pot and bring it to a gentle simmer.
- In another medium pot, heat the duck fat or butter over medium-high heat and saute the minced shallot or onion until it softens and turns translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic cloves, the morels and the rice and mix well. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring often.
- When the liquid from the morels has evaporated, add 1/2 cup of hot stock to the rice and stir well. Sprinkle a little salt over everything. The key to making a great risotto is to constantly stir, or at least stir every minute or so. As each 1/2 cup of stock is absorbed, add another, then another until the rice is cooked through, but still firm.
- When you reach that point, add the grated cheese and a little more stock. Stir to incorporate the cheese into the risotto. Add the chopped chives and serve at once.
FOR DRIED MORELS
- Start by setting the morels in a bowl. Pour 2 cups of boiling water over the morels and cover the bowl. Let the mushrooms steep for 30 minutes to 2 hours. Remove the mushrooms, squeeze them dry with your hands over the bowl, catching the juices. Chop the morels and set aside. Strain the soaking water through a paper towel set in a colander; you will be cooking with this soaking water, and you want it free of debris.
- Now follow the directions as above, but instead of 2 cups of water, use the 2 cups of the mushroom soaking water.
TA DA! First of all, I loveeeeee risotto. So creamy and delicious and rich and did I say delicious already? Ahhhhhh. Now I’ve seen “cheaters” risotto out there where you don’t stir so much and you don’t add the liquid bit by bit, but personally I think the labor of love is soooooooo worth it, so I’ve never tried those. If this is your 1st time making a risotto, you’re probably going to think at some point…”um what? no way is all this liquid going in here” but it does! And the result is amazing.
So there you have it and fantastic weekend meal to try! Let me know how yours turned out! I love hearing from my readers! HAPPY WEEKEND!