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Cep / Porcini / 'Forest Mix' Mushroom Risotto
The trick of this recipe, is not to make it as a true risotto, where you'd slowly add prepared stock to risotto rice, such as Arborio, but to cook the rice and sauce separately - which can be done ahead of time. It's suitable for vegetarians if vegetable stock is used.
Purists will hold up their hands in horror, at this stage, but we know of more than one Michelin starred using this method, including one which held three stars, where it was among the most popular starters.
The sauce will keep in the fridge for a few days and can also be used as a sauce for steak or grilled chicken. The rice needs treating with care, once cooked. It needs to be refrigerated up to the point of being reheated, then discarded after a couple of days, if not used.
100g/3 oz Dried Ceps or ‘Forest Mix’
30g/1 oz Butter
60g/2 oz Shallots, skinned and finely-chopped
100ml/4 fl oz Noilly Prat
250ml/ ½ pint Chicken Stock
250ml/ ½ pint Double Cream
a handful of Chives, chopped
a little Salt and freshly-ground Black Pepper
a squeeze of Lemon Juice
Other Ingredients for the Risotto:
Allow 100g/3 oz of lightly boiled Risotto rice each for a starter, 150g/5 oz for a light main course
About 60-90gr freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.
Soak the dried mushrooms in 100ml/4 fl oz of boiling water for about 30 minutes.
Strain them, reserving half the liquid. Roughly chop the mushrooms.
Melt the butter in a stainless-steel pan, over a gentle heat, add the chopped shallots and 'sweat' them slowly until they're transparent.
Add the chopped mushrooms and the Noilly Prat and cook for a minute.
Add the chicken stock and reduce by half, then add the cream mixing it well in.
Bring the mixture to the boil, cook for a further 5 minutes before removing it from the heat.
Add the chives and leave them to infuse for about half an hour.
Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper and add the squeeze of lemon juice and the retained mushroom liquid.
Serve or cover with cling wrap to stop a skin forming.
Mix the sauce in with the rice (which might need gently reheating in a microwave).
Serve, allowing your guests to sprinkle on some grated Parmesan.