Sunday, October 21, 2012

Shiitake Mushroom & Goat Cheese Risotto

Last week, Mike and I ventured to Savannah for a quick trip to see a comedy show.  The show was great, but Savannah was even greater!  I had never been before, and even though I didn't run into Paula Deen like I hoped I would, I did get to eat some wonderful food, enjoy some Savannah Sweet Tea (with Sweet Tea Vodka of course!), and stop by the Lady & Sons for souvenirs - because who doesn't need a "Hey Y'all!" koozie?

Wednesday night, Mike and I had a really delicious late night dinner at a restaurant called The Public.  The weather was absolutely perfect, cool and crisp, for eating outside so we dined al fresco and ordered some warm, hearty food and a nice glass of red wine.  I had the Wild Mushroom and Goat Cheese Risotto with Chicken and it was absolutely to die for.  I was still thinking about it last night so I made my at home version, and it turned out exactly as I hoped!  I skipped the chicken, but feel free to add it (shrimp might be good in this too!).  Risotto really isn't difficult to make, but it is sort of labor intensive.  You need to stay by the stove and stir continuously until it's finished, but it's so worth it!  This recipe can be served as an entree or side, and makes enough for two people.

At Paula Deen's The Lady & Sons
* 1 c. arborio rice (arborio is a must for risotto, I wouldn't try to substitute)
* 1 small sweet onion, diced
* 4 or 5 shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped
* 1 (32 oz) box chicken stock
* 3 tbsp. butter
* 2 oz goat cheese

Add chicken stock to a small pot and heat to medium heat.  In a large sauté pan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat.  Add onions and sauté until translucent, about 8 minutes (if they start to brown, reduce heat).  Add 1 more tablespoon of butter and the mushrooms to the pan and cook for 2 minutes.  Next, add the last tablespoon of butter and the rice to the pan and toast it for 2-3 minutes.  Add a ladle full of stock to the pan (if stock starts to boil, reduce heat to med-low) and stir continuously until the stock is absorbed. Continue to add stock to the pan, one ladle full at a time, being careful to let the rice absorb the stock before adding more.  Continue this process until the rice is cooked through and has a creamy texture (I used all of the stock, which took about 30 minutes total).  Once the risotto is done cooking, fold in the goat cheese.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy!

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