This is by far one of my favourite things that I cook. There are many things that I cook just because other people like them. This one, I cook for me, the fact that other people love it is just an added bonus. It is savoury and sweet without the addition of any sugar, the caramelizing of the sweet vidalia onions is all the sweetness you need! If you love risotto then I’m pretty sure you will love this, that is unless you hate mushrooms or onions or something… Also I grew this onion and I’m pretty proud of it. I’m planning to grow a lot more next year.
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So first things first. Given that it’s almost Christmas and there are a tone of cheesy Christmas movies on Netflix it only seems appropriate to set up the iPad and get one going. Oh and also pour some wine, cheers!
Now, appropriately prepared it’s time to get to work! Chop up the onions, mushrooms and garlic and set aside. I managed to pull off the chopping this time without crying and having mascara running down my face so kudos to me! A great start if I ever saw one.
After all the chopping was done, I did as I always do when chopping veggies. I grabbed any tasty bits and added them to the bag I keep in the freezer. I like to use a 1 gallon freezer bag. Then once it’s full I can use it to make veggie broth or chicken broth if I have a chicken carcass hiding in the freezer (which I do). Any of the bits that’s are not good for making homemade broths make their way into my compost (learn about composting here) so that I use as much as possible.
Grab your handy-dandy enamel pot or some other form of heavy bottomed pot and over low heat melt the butter and add in the oil. After that in go the onions, mushrooms and garlic and we need to cook them for about 20-30 minutes so that the onions start to turn a bit brown with all that caramelized goodness. You can’t really walk away or you risk them burning, so this is where the cheesy Christmas movie comes in handy. And the wine of course.
You can add in some salt and pepper at this point if you like, or wait until the end. I like to do both, that way the flavours cook into the veggies and it also gave me an opportunity to take a picture of my pretty (and damn useful) Le Creuset salt mill (I also have the pepper mill, because you really need a set).
Once the veggies are ready, then you can go ahead and add in the rice, stiring it for about a minute.
Next comes the wine. A lot of people use dry white wine for cooking. personally I just use whichever one I am most enjoying drinking at any given time. But you do you. Wait until all the wine has been absorbed by the rice (it should be smelling amazing already) and then it’s on to the next step.
I love to use this mushroom broth, but you could just as easily use vegetable broth or chicken broth. This risotto is going to be delicious regardless of the broth you use! Now, don’t go dumping all the liquid in at once. We want to add it slowly, about 1/3 cup at a time. Don’t add anymore until the previous broth has been absorbed by the rice.
It was hard to get a clear shot as it was quite steamy! As the rice cooks it will plump up and also help to create the creamy texture that is the hallmark of risotto. It is so important to use proper Arborio rice or you won’t end up with the right texture in the end.
I was properly supervised the entire time by the peanut gallery who kept a close eye from on top of the kitchen cupboards. If you haven’t been introduced to them before, these are my sphynx cats, Lion-o (on the left) and Miss Kitty (on the right). They are definitely not everyones cup of tea, but damn if they aren’t the best cats ever! They are often called puppy-cats as they have a lot of dog qualities. Anyway if you’re curious to know more then check out my post on 13 Things you need to know about Sphynx cats.
Once it is getting all ooey-gooey then it is time to add in the grated asiago. If asiago isn’t your thing then feel free to go with a more traditional parmesan. Again, you do you. I just really, really love asiago!
That’s pretty much it! A few quick stirs with a trusty wooden spoon to ensure the cheese is all incorporated and then you are good to go. It sure isn’t the prettiest thing, but the taste more than makes up for it’s less than stellar looks.
Caramelized Onion & Mushroom Risotto
- Enamel or heavy bottomed pot
- Measuring spoons and cups
- 4 Tbsp Butter
- 1 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Large vidalia onion (finely sliced)
- 1 Cup Cremini mushrooms (sliced)
- 1 Cup Shiitake mushrooms (chopped)
- 4 Garlic cloves (finely chopped)
- 1 Cup Arborio Rice
- ½ Cup White wine
- 4 Cups Mushroom stock (You can also use Vegetable or Chicken stock)
- 1 Tsp Fresh thyme
- ½ Cup Asiago cheese (grated)
- Himalayan salt (to taste)
- Freshly cracked black pepper (to taste)
- In a enamel or heavy bottomed pot melt in the olive oil and butter.
- Add in the chopped onions, garlic and mushrooms and cook over low heat until the onions have caramelized (about 20-30 minutes). Be careful not to burn them!
- Add in the rice and cook for 1 minute.
- Pour in the white wine and stir until it has been absorbed by the rice.
- Add in the thyme and 1/3 cup of the mushroom broth.
- Slowly add in a 1/3 cup of broth as the rice absobrs the previous amount.
- Once the rice is tender, add in the asiago cheese and stir to incorporate.
- Serve warm, topped with more asiago cheese.
If you love mushrooms as much as I do then you will love my homemade mushroom soup recipe!