Thursday, May 8, 2014

Pea and Mushroom Risotto

Canned peas have a bit of an icky connotation.  They're mushy and tasteless, often accompanied by also mushy canned carrots and onions in a bland casserole-type dish.  Frozen peas are a significant improvement from the canned variety, as the sweetness is often preserved.  Fresh peas are by far the best, but sadly require extra time for shucking.  Lucikly, Trader Joe's comes to the rescue once again, providing pre-shucked fresh peas, a perfect time saving ingredient.    

I was in the mood for a rich, creamy dish, and this risotto perfectly satisfied my craving.  I even tricked myself into thinking I was being healthy by adding the fresh peas and mushrooms.  Throw in some vegetables and that offsets the butter and cheese, right?

Pea and Mushroom Risotto
Recipe here

8 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
1/2 -ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups finely chopped onions
10 ounces white mushrooms, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice or short-grain white rice
2/3 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
2/3 cup grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, optional
Bring the broth to a simmer in a heavy medium saucepan. Add the porcini mushrooms. Set aside until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Keep the broth warm over very low heat.

Melt the butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the white mushrooms and garlic. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the porcini mushrooms to a cutting board. Finely chop the mushrooms and add to the saucepan. Saute until the mushrooms are tender and the juices evaporate, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice and let it toast for a few minutes. Add the wine; cook until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of hot broth; simmer over medium-low heat until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook until the rice is just tender and the mixture is creamy, adding more broth by cupfuls and stirring often, about 28 minutes (the rice will absorb 6 to 8 cups of broth). Stir in the peas. Mix in the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

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