Cook the Blog: Wild Mushroom Risotto

Welcome to my first Cook the Blog post. This is a feature where I will take a recipe from around the web (or another blog) and recreate the dish. In other words, I am going to make their recipe, highlight my changes, clarify directions, and show the final product.

For my first post I will be using Anne Burrell’s (Food Network) Wild Mushroom Risotto. For those of you who don’t know, Risotto is rice that eats like pasta in sauce. It is my favorite way to eat rice.


The original recipe:


  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed with heel your hand
  • 1 1/2 pounds assorted fresh mushrooms, such as shiitake, oyster or cremini, cleaned and sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup dried porcini mushrooms, soaking in 3 cups hot water
  • 1 medium or 2 small onions, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cups Carnaroli or Arborio rice
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 6 to 7 cups hot chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano
  • 1/2 cup chopped chives


Coat a large saute pan generously with olive oil and add the smashed garlic cloves. Bring to a medium-high heat. When the garlic cloves have begun to brown and are very aromatic remove and discard them. Add the assorted fresh mushrooms to the pan and season with salt. Saute the mushrooms until they are soft and pliable. Turn off the heat and reserve.

Using your hand, carefully scoop the porcini mushrooms out of the hot water. (At this point the water should have cooled off significantly. If it is still too hot for your hand, use a slotted spoon.) Pour the top 2/3 of the mushroom water into another container and reserve for use while making the risotto. Discard the bottom third. It contains a lot of sand and dirt from the mushrooms. Puree the rehydrated mushrooms with a little of the reserved mushroom water to make a smooth mushroom paste. This will not look good but it will certainly taste good! Reserve.

Coat a large saucepot abundantly with olive oil. Add the onions and season generously with salt. Bring the pot to a medium-high heat. Cook the onions, stirring frequently until they are very soft and aromatic but have no color. Add the rice and stir to coat with the olive oil. Cook the rice for 2 to 3 minutes to toast, stirring frequently. Add wine to cover the surface of the rice and stir frequently until it has completely absorbed. Add the reserved mushroom water and then add chicken stock until the liquid has covered the surface of the rice. Stir frequently until the stock has absorbed into the rice. Repeat this process 2 more times. Check for seasoning, you probably will need to add salt.

During the third addition of stock, add the reserved sauteed mushrooms and 2 tablespoons of the pureed porcini mushrooms. When the stock has absorbed into the rice and the rice is cooked but still “al dente“, remove the pot from the heat. Add the butter and cheese and whip until well combined. This will set the perfect consistency of the rice. The rice should flow and not be able to hold its shape and look very creamy. Serve immediately garnished with chives.


My experience:

I was only making this recipe for 3 people so I cut some of the ingredients in half from the original recipe.


  • 4 Tablespoons Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 package shiitake, oyster, cremini, and Baby Bella Mushrooms (my grocery store calls it the gourmet blend)
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 package dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 1/3 cups hot water
  • 1/2 Spanish Onion, diced
  • 1 cups Carnaroli or Arborio rice
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 4 to 8 cups hot chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano and Romano blend
  • Chives for garnish
  • 4 to 6 chicken cutlets
  • ¼ tsp truffle oil (OPTIONAL)


Note: You can use any white rice. I used sushi rice because it’s what I had in the house. However, it will come out best if you use rice listed in the recipe.

Warm 2 cups of water and place dried porcini mushrooms in the water. Let mushrooms sit for 20 minutes.


Put 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil into a large sauté pan. Smash 2 cloves of garlic and cook over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes. When color starts to appear on the garlic, remove it. As the garlic darkens, the oil will become bitter. Chop all of the remaining mushrooms and place them in the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the pan, turn off the pan but do not clean. The pan will used to cook the chicken later.


Place 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a large saucepot. Heat over medium-high heat and add the chopped onions. Season with salt and pepper. While the onions are cooking remove the porcini mushrooms from the water and chop. Pour 2 cups of water into a small saucepot on medium heat. It should be just hot enough to keep the liquid warm. Discard the remaining 1/3 cup water – it will contain sand.


Cook the onions till translucent then add the rice. Stir till the rice is fully coated in olive oil (add extra if needed). After 2 minutes, add the wine to the rice. It should completely cover the rice. If it doesn’t, add more.


Stir the rice infrequently. When the rice is no longer covered by the wine, add the mushroom stock to the rice. Replace the now empty saucepot with chicken stock. From this point on, chicken stock is the only liquid that will be added to the rice. Repeat the process for adding chicken stock to the dish, 1 cup at a time.


While the rice cooks, raise the temperature on the sauté pan back to medium-high heat. Add a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil to the pan and coat. Chop the chicken into chunks and add to the pan. The goal is to sear a nice crust onto the chicken. If it doesn’t cook all the way that’s ok. It will finish cooking in the rice. Cook about 2 minutes each side. I added chicken to this dish to make it more of an entrée and to add a different textural component.


Once the rice is almost fully cooked (for me this was my 4th time adding stock), add all the mushrooms and chicken to the pot. Cook for about 5 more minutes, and then remove the pot from the heat.


Add the butter and cheese to the risotto and whip it. Stir the pot fast; it is what makes the dish creamy and provides the perfect consistency. This is the best advice for risotto I know of. I personally did not cut the cheese or butter for this dish when I cut it in half. It might be too buttery or cheesy for some so use caution when adding these ingredients. I can say, my roommates did not find it too buttery or cheesy but everyone has a different palate.


Serve and top with chives for garnish and ¼ tsp white truffle oil if desired.



One response to “Cook the Blog: Wild Mushroom Risotto

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