When Jim is cooking steaks or chicken on the grill, one of my favorite side dishes is mushroom risotto. It’s my idea of comfort food: rich, creamy and delicious.
Risotto is not hard to make, but it’s time consuming, adding four cups of chicken broth a half cup at a time and stirring until the broth is absorbed. Made the traditional way, it can also require three pans: one to preheat the broth, one to cook the onion, garlic and mushrooms, and one for the rice. That’s doable in a larger kitchen, but in my one-butt kitchen, I’m always looking for short cuts that produce fewer dirty dishes and take up less space on my stove top.
Rather than heating the chicken broth in a pan, I zap a cup of broth in the microwave for a minute when I need it. Using hot broth keeps the temperate from dropping when you add more to the rice, ensuring that the rice cooks evenly and has a creamy texture.
Even when it’s just the two of us, I always make a full batch. The leftovers make tasty risotto cakes.
Preparation time: 50 minutes Total time: 50 minutes
One-butt kitchen needs:
- Nothing special for this one
Serves 4 (with leftovers for Risotto Cakes!)
- 3 tbsp avocado, olive or canola oil, divided
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound fresh baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 2 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cup Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
- 32-oz box chicken broth (may not use all of it)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, thyme and parsley. Sauté until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside. If you want to only dirty one pan, you can put the mushroom mixture in a bowl and reuse the pan.
Heat chicken broth, a cup at a time, in a microwave-safe bowl for 1 minute. Repeat as necessary.
Heat 1 tbsp oil and rice in a pan over medium heat. Stir until rice is well coated, about 1 minute. Stir in wine and cook until most liquid has evaporated. Add warm chicken broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring often. Allow the rice to absorb broth before adding more. Remove from heat; stir in mushroom mixture and Parmesan cheese. Reserve a bit of the cheese to sprinkle on top.