Serious Eats: Recipes
Healthy & Delicious: Mushroom Risotto
I used to consider risotto too rich, expensive, and upscale for the everyday. Not sure why. Maybe it's the inherent creaminess, or that it's frequently grouped with words like "porcini" and "truffle oil." Maybe it's because I've seen risotto mostly at fancy restaurants. Y'know, the ones I go to all the time. Because I'm unemployed, and we can do that.
Anyway, as it turns out, risotto can be adapted pretty easily to healthy diets and low budgets. Butternut Squash Risotto, which I whipped up a few weeks ago to stunning effect (if I do say so myself), is one example. Mushroom Risotto, which I made earlier this week, is another. A good one, at that.
Sophisticated yet simple, it's a get-together meal that will ingratiate your friends and make your enemies curse your name. The dish is earthy to the nth degree, but never murky, due to an abundance of fresh herbs. A solid dousing of parmesan at the end rounds out the flavor and adds creaminess.
To slash the fat, I halved the olive oil and butter, neither of which were missed. To cut costs without sacrificing too much flavor, I did the following: first, the original recipe calls for dried porcini mushrooms, which are $4.99 at my local supermarket. I substituted Trader Joe's dried wild mushrooms, a comparative bargain at $1.99.
Second, half of the portobellos were swapped for regular ol' button mushrooms. Finally, instead of truffle oil, I added broth from the rehydrated mushrooms. These steps shaved about $5 off the final price, which came in around $14. All changes are reflected below.
The whole shebang begs for a wine pairing, which you can conveniently assign to your dinner guests. Trust me, It's what all the upscale kids are doing.