mushroom & onion risotto

Monday, January 17, 2011
Over the weekend, the husband and I had one of our most treasured things, a night at home, just us two, with a great bottle of wine and a homemade meal.

I love going out, visiting, eating at new restaurants and going to friends houses' just as much as any other social butterfly. But since Christmas we've been non-stop, so it's kind of nice to have just a night at home where I don't have to do my hair, put on makeup or wear anything fancier than lululemon pants.

Usually when we stay hermitted in our house on Saturday nights, I like to make a nice dinner. Whether it's something new or an old favourite, it's nice to have a "special" meal when there's really nothing special going on.

So armed with a bottle of wine named after the husband's late father, I decided to try my hand at risotto.
Initially all started out well, actually it went swimmingly well throughout the whole cooking process but man the stirring killed my arm. Note to self : do not make risotto after you've done an hour worth of strength training and spent two and a half  hours lifting and moving boxes at work.

Even though my arm was crazy sore the next day, the results were worth it. It was creamy, rich and al dente like a good risotto should be. The onions and mushroom melted down to a mellow background to the unexpected, but welcomed taste and aroma of thyme.

Mushroom & onion risotto

[ adapted from thekitchn ]

1 one pound bag of aborio rice / risotto
2 cups mushroom of your choice, I used white button mushrooms
1 1/2 medium onions, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups liquid of your choice, I used chicken broth but vegetable broth or beef broth are okay too
1/2 dry white wine, if you wish not to use wine use an extra 1/2 cup of broth
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
salt & pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft. Add mushrooms and cook until they are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Add rice and stir to coat evenly. Bring pot to medium-high heat  and add 2/3 of liquid, stirring constantly, making sure risotto doesn't stick. You are looking to have a slow boil going, if you have a full boil or simmer, your heat is probably too high.

As the rice cooks, it will absorb most of the liquid, add more 1/2 cup at a time, continually stirring. After you've added all your liquid, add the wine and salt and pepper to taste. If you've used up all the liquid and your risotto is still too hard, add a half cup more of liquid (doesn't matter what, wine, water, broth etc.). Continue cooking and stirring until the risotto is al dente. Serve immediately with grated parmesan cheese and/or stir in a pat of butter once you remove the risotto from the heat.