Creamy Mushroom Risotto

I love risotto. It's good at any time of the year, delicious, creamy and always fun to make!
I'm guilty of owning specialty oils to make some of my favourite types that much better. It is the ultimate indulgence on nights that I know I'm cooking for one and can experiment a little.

Last night was one of those nights!

One of the greatest things about risotto is that much like soups or pizza, it's really a "put anything in it" kind of meal. Flavours you might not necessarily mix together otherwise come together fabulously in risotto.

Go ahead, google two things in your fridge plus "risotto", bet you'll find something! I've had chicken zucchini, lemon asparagus, salmon, peas and onions, delicious stuff! But today I want to tell you how to make my favourite: creamy mushroom risotto.

1 cup arborio rice
4 cups chicken broth (roughly)
1/4 cup white wine
2 tbs olive oil
1tbs black truffle oil (optional!)
1 package cut white mushrooms
1/2 cup porcini mushrooms
(Feel free to add your mushrooms of choice!)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
6 green onions, finely chopped
Salt and pepper

1) pour your broth into a medium pot and heat on stove at a simmer. Risotto is much easier to make if your broth is a little warm! Let it sit while you prep your meal.

2) Finely chop your garlic and green onions. Slice up your mushrooms of choice. pour your olive oil into a large sized pot on the stove, on medium heat. Once the oil is warm, add your veggies. As they cook, spoon a bit of broth over top and continue to cook. When done, remove the garlic, onion and mushrooms using a slotted spoon. Try to keep as much broth in the pot as possible.

3) Pour in your arborio rice. Stir frequently over medium heat until the rice is slightly translucent and any broth remaining is absorbed. At this point, pour 1/4 cup of white wine into the rice and stir until absorbed (I firmly believe in the "one for me, one for you" approach to this)

4) Now for the part people tend to dislike about risotto, but I think is fun provided I have good music and good wine to accompany me. Using a soup ladle, add a spoonful of broth at a time to the rice, then stir until it's absorbed. You need to stir fairly consistently (but don't feel you need to stay glued to the stove). Continue this process of Spoon, stir, absorb, until the rice is al dente. Be sure to save a little bit of broth for later

5) At this point, I like to add my black truffle oil to the mix. I find it enhances the flavour nicely to add a table spoon. If you don't have any truffle oil, another good thing you can do at this point is to add just a little bit of butter or margarine, it will make your risotto more creamy.

I Get my Truffle Oil from a little specialty oil spot nearby called "My Olive". If you've never indulged in a specialty oil, I firmly recommend it. If you live in the Mississauga area, be sure to visit these guys, they are simply the best! They'll let you taste test until you find the perfect flavour.

6) Now, add the veggies you cooked earlier back to your risotto and stir it all in! Add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle one last bit of soup over top to finish cooking the rice and stir until absorbed. your rice should now be soft and creamy (do a quick taste test, just in case you need a bit more broth)

You're ready to eat! Depending on your taste buds, you may want to put a bit of fresh Parmesan cheese in at this point to melt, or a bit of lemon juice to bring out the flavors. For mushroom risotto though I would recommend just enjoying as is!

Looks delicious!

Like I said earlier, risotto is great because you can try so many different flavors! If mushrooms aren't your thing, try mixing in different veggies or meats until you find what's right for you! The steps are essentially the same just replace "mushrooms" with asparagus, lemon, chicken, peas, carrots, onions, fish, scallops, duck, spinach... basically anything your heart desires!

Go ahead, pick some of your favourite flavours and give it a try!