Down the Rabbit Hole by Margo Elfstrom
Alice remained looking thoughtfully at the mushroom for a minute, trying to make out which were the two sides of it; and as it was perfectly round, she found this a very difficult question. However, at last she stretched her arms round it as far as they would go, and broke off a bit of the edge with each hand. ~Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll~
Alice in Wonderland has always been one of my favorite books, even in adulthood. One of the my favorite parts is where Alice meets the caterpillar sitting on a mushroom, smoking a hookah. I’ve never needed a bug to convince me to eat mushrooms. They were a favorite of mine when I was a child and just like Alice in Wonderland, I’ve continued to love them as I’ve grown into adulthood. Mushrooms factor into a few of my favorite dishes, including risotto. There is nothing more delicious than a well made risotto and the earthiness of fungi seem to add just the right flair to this creamy dish.
Not only are these funny, little fungus tasty but they’re also an important part of a balanced diet. Mushrooms are a good source of B-vitamins, including riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid, which help to provide energy by breaking down proteins, fats and carbohydrates. B vitamins also play an important role in the nervous system. Mushrooms are also one of the only inhabitants of the vegetable aisle that contain Vitamin D, which helps maintain strong bones by helping the body absorb calcium. Important minerals found in mushrooms include selenium, copper, ergothioneine and potassium.
- 9 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh wild mushrooms
- (such as cèpe [porcini], hen of the woods, chanterelle, or stemmed shiitake); large mushrooms sliced, small mushrooms halved or quartered
- 7 cups (about) low-salt chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup finely chopped leek (white and pale green parts only)
- 1 1/4 cups arborio rice (8 to 9 ounces)
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup dry white vermouth
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving (optional)
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 of mushrooms and sprinkle with salt. Sauté mushrooms until tender and beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to medium bowl. Working in 3 more batches, repeat with 6 tablespoons butter, remaining mushrooms, and salt and pepper.
- Bring 7 cups chicken broth to simmer in medium saucepan; keep warm. Melt remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter with olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add leek, sprinkle with salt, and sauté until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add rice and increase heat to medium. Stir until edges of rice begin to look translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add white wine and vermouth and stir until liquid is absorbed, about 1 minute. Add 3/4 cup warm chicken broth; stir until almost all broth is absorbed, about 1 minute. Continue adding broth by 3/4 cupfuls, stirring until almost all broth is absorbed before adding more, until rice is halfway cooked, about 10 minutes. Stir in sautéed mushrooms. Continue adding broth by 3/4 cupfuls, stirring until almost all broth is absorbed before adding more, until rice is tender but still firm to bite and risotto is creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, if using. Transfer risotto to serving bowl. Pass additional Parmesan cheese alongside, if desired.
So today, I decided to make a shitake risotto and I’d forgotten how tasty it is. It’s an easy dish, the main difficulty is the time it takes to make it. This is one of those recipes that require a lot of stirring but in the end you’ve not only increased the muscle mass of your bicep but you get to eat something that melts on your tongue “like butta”.
I’m pretty sure that they won’t make me bigger (OK, too much risotto could potentially do that) or smaller but the magic is that mushrooms can help make me healthier. I’m all for that! Enjoy!!!!
Don’t forget to visit Mireya at My Healthy Eating Habits, Alyce at More Time at the Table, Ansh at Spice Roots, Jeanette of Jeanette’s Healthy Living, Martha at Simple-Nourished-Living, Sarah from Everything In the Kitchen Sink, Casey from Bookcase Foodie and Anabanana at adobodownunder.blogspot.com. If you’d like to join the group, please contact Mireya!