This winter I found myself in a food rut… with more and more responsibilities—work is becoming all encompassing— I have all but stopped pursuing my true passion… cooking and experimenting in the kitchen.
I miss those days in California, wandering through the farmers market so inspired to explore the possibilities of local produce I’d never tried before. So… with the days in Minnesota getting longer and the snow beginning to melt away… I decided to explore again. After work I headed to the co-op and found some vibrant spices to infuse into my dinner tonight! I adore lemon grass and have never really used it before in a dish so I decided to put an Asian spin on a classic risotto.
The kitchen smelled heavenly, and standing at the stove— stirring my risotto— sipping wine— I found myself relaxing and back in my zen vibe…cooking! Peace… Britt
Even in the dead of winter you can find local produce at co-ops.Garlic, ginger, lemon grass, and thai chilis will brighten up this risotto—plus it will infuse the kitchen with aroma therapy!Last summer—at the Pacific Palisade Farmers market in California— I was so amazed at the beautiful mushrooms this farm stand had. Minnesota certainly doesn’t have fresh mushrooms like this! I had to settle with shitake, cremini and white button mushrooms.
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Mushroom Asian Risotto
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 stalks lemongrass, smashed with the back of a knife
1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
1 pound mixed mushrooms
1 cup thinly sliced scallions
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 /2 tablespoon finely grated ginger
1 fresh green Thai chiles, chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup Arborio rice
1 cup dry good white wine
freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano for garnish
fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
Bring the chicken broth and lemongrass to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm.
In a enameled cast iron cookware, warm the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until the mushroom are beginning to brown. Reduce the heat to medium and add the scallions, garlic, ginger, Thai chiles and salt. Cook an additional 3 minutes.
Add the rice to the pan; mix well to coat the grains in the oil. Deglaze the pan with the white wine, scraping up any brown bits that have formed in the pan. Simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add 1 cup of the simmering broth and cook, stirring, until almost completely absorbed, about 4 minutes. Add 3/4 cup broth and once again cook until evaporated, stirring constantly. Continue in this manner, adding 3/4 cup broth at a time, until the rice is tender, but still with some bite, and the mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes total.
Remove from the heat. Serve garnished with Parmesan and basil.