Needless to say, the quality of the mushrooms has a major impact on this dish—but you can use white button or diced portobello mushrooms (gills scraped away and discarded) to good effect if you get a good sear on them. A variety of wild mushrooms or a combination of button and wild, if they’re available, is very nice. Here I recommend sautéing diced buttons or portobellos and then adding them to the cooking risotto, where they will continue to release their own liquids. Another option is to use dried mushrooms, rehydrated in hot water that you then strain through a coffee filter and use as the cooking liquid. If you can’t get your hands on good wild mushrooms, use 1 pound/450 grams total of the white buttons and portobellos and reserve half of them after the initial sauté to garnish the finished risotto.
Wipe out the sauté pan and repeat the searing with another
Wipe out the pan again and heat the remaining
Add the sliced mushroom and wine mixture and bring to a fairly aggressive simmer over medium to medium-high heat. When the wine is almost all absorbed, begin adding the warm stock in
Meanwhile, reheat the wild mushrooms in a microwave or a separate sauté pan.
When your rice is al dente and you don’t need to add more liquid, lower the heat to medium and stir in the butter, continuing to stir until the butter has been completely incorporated. Stir in the cheese, top with the wild mushrooms, and serve immediately.
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