Four-mushroom and brie risotto

October 21, 2010

I have, yet again, amassed quite a collection of on-the-verge goodies in my refrigerator: enoki, maitake, shiitake and chanterelle (aka anzutake) mushrooms; hunks of cheese (not the least of which is a French triple cream brie), sprigs of thyme, the remnants of a bottle of Chardonnay. Oh, this is easy.

I couldn’t really say this is a wild mushroom risotto since I haven’t actually gone out for them myself yet. But I will, soon! I have a good feeling about it – chanterelles for $5.99/lb (instead of the usual $14.99/lb) leads me to believe the market – and forests – are flooded with them.

Risotto, the basic-est of Things, is such an expected way of using up mushrooms and cheese. But believe me, I’ve been here before. I just don’t feel like making a tart today. Risotto is a foodist’s staple for a reason: it’s easy, it’s comforting, it empties the refrigerator of forgotten bits and orts and it’s not casserole (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

Besides, my fingers ached to feel the resistance of arborio rice creaming against my wooden spoon. I needed the comfort of stirring motion on these sun-weary arms, like rocking a baby in a cradle. And I couldn’t wait for this weekend’s impending storm for it. I wiped my apron across my favorite pan and warmed it over the blue flame.

Since chanterelles release their own forest jus when heated, I started them first to the saute in butter and chicken schmaltz skimmed from the stock simmering on the adjacent burner. I added finely minced onion, garlic and thyme. Next I added the other mushrooms and passed them back and forth across the pan until they squeaked a bit. I added more butter and the rice, and went about the business of making risotto. When it was a nudge chewier than al dente (this is the perfect texture for risotto), I folded in another ladleful of chicken stock to coax out that last ooze of velvet, and about 3 tablespoons of Brillat-Savarin (a creamy, leafy whiff of an autumn’s day) to complement the mushrooms’ earth tones. Please note that the only dairy that should ever be added to risotto is butter and/or cheese; adding cream is cheating, is incorrect and is a pedestrian game.

Serve with a dry Prosecco or Champagne (oh, live a little).

15 Responses to Four-mushroom and brie risotto

  1. April in CT
    October 21, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    I want to live at your house, where the mushroom is embraced, unlike my humble abode where ONE of us (certainly not me) just can’t handle the mushroom. This looks scrumptious!

  2. October 21, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    I sometimes cheat and add mascarpone to my risotto. I just love the extraq bit of creaminess. I fylly expected to hear you had handpicked all of these forest fungii. O dopn’t know enough about them to venture out myself but I see the foragers selling morels at the market and right now it looks like chaterelles. Oh to find their stash:D

  3. October 22, 2010 at 3:40 am

    Remnants of wine? I don’t follow you. This is a gorgeous risotto!

  4. October 22, 2010 at 6:15 am

    BOO! Yes, I’m back after another shameful hiatus. Sorry about that.

    If you could just ship over some of that risotto now, that would be great. Thanks. We’ve just the weather for it here right now. Gonad-gripping cold.

    Oh, and I’m with you on the cream. The same people make the same mistake with carbonara. IN. THEIR. FACES.

  5. October 22, 2010 at 7:58 am

    Oh that looks fantastic. Mushrooms here have been expensive, after our very dry dry summer…but the last week or two have had a few rainy days, so maybe things are looking up? We hope…

    YUM. I should do this…this might be the dish to make my husband enjoy rice…. (How did I marry someone who doesn’t like rice? HOW?)

  6. October 22, 2010 at 8:11 am

    Hey, be sure to call if you are going hunting for mushrooms

  7. lo
    October 22, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    I love the cool days of autumn when sitting over the stove stirring risotto is a most coveted task. Thinking about those glorious ‘shrooms is making me hungry. Jonesin’ for some of that creamy brie love myself.

  8. October 23, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    wow this looks creamy and delicious! mushrooms, brie and thyme – classic!

  9. LazyGringo
    October 27, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Sounds delicious Heather. BTW, I have a botanical question for you, seeing as how it’s your area of expertise…my question is, how old is the mushroom? (As an organism I mean) Wikipedia surprisingly has no info on this just some stuff about scientific classifications which is a little too abstruse for me. Happy cooking!

  10. October 28, 2010 at 11:48 am

    I want to make that TONIGHT! Do you think my husband would notice the brie if I didn’t tell him what was in there? I do have a bottle of proseco in my fridge.

  11. October 31, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    This recipe is right up my alley! Will be making this in the near future for sure. Love your site — found it through foodie blog.

    All the best,


  12. November 3, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Nice one! Our chanties are just starting, although I’ve been hammering away at a box of Washington ones lately. Brie is a nice touch; would not have thought to put it in there. I tend to only put dry cheeses into risotto, but I like the idea of adding a melty one.

  13. November 19, 2010 at 1:06 am

    Sounds and looks very delicious!