Risotto with Red Wine and Morels

16 Apr

Remember those dried morels I bought 497967 years ago? Well, I still hadn’t used them.  I finally decided enough was enough.  I wasn’t going to get around to doing something fancy with shrimp. It’s best to stick with what I know.  I know risotto.  It turned out wonderfully.

I started with the morels. Ta da.

In an episode of The Splendid Table, a guy was talking about how he reconstituted dried morels using either milk or white wine, and it gave them a better flavor than reconstituting them with water.  I didn’t want to open a bottle of white wine just for the morels, but I had a bottle of red already open.  It worked great.

This picture of wine is here for my own reference, so I can remember to pick more of this stuff up. It was good.

I think I actually bought that bottle as a present for Mr. Beez. But I wanted wine, so I drank it. He was not upset with me. He shook his head, and was not surprised.

So here are the morels in their wine bath. I need to get me one of those.

I let the morels hang out in the wine for a while.  A long while. Like, we went to the park in the meantime, while.

When we got back from the park, I started sauteeing (?) up some onions and garlic and baby bella mushrooms in olive oil.  The ? is there because I’m not 100% on my cooking technique vocabulary.  It wasn’t a lot of oil, so I don’t think it’s frying. I could look it up, but nah.

Next, I tossed in arborio rice.  That photo is a lie, because I used more like a cup and a half.

I added in the morels and the wine they were soaking in, and let it all cook until the edges of the rice started to get translucent.

Next I started in adding stock.  I used chicken stock because it’s what I had handy. You can use any stock. Risotto turns out best if you add in stock steadily and patiently.  The whole process doesn’t take THAT long, but the longer you can draw it out, the better.  You add in a little stock and stir and wait until it’s mostly absorbed, then add a little more, and stir and wait until it’s mostly absorbed, and repeat repeat repeat.

After a bunch of waiting and reading a couple magazine articles, the whole thing was done! Ta da!

The morels had a neat texture, and tasted mushroomy, but they weren’t anything extraordinary.  I enjoyed trying out a new ingredient.  Using the morels makes you look sophisticated, so this is a great dish to make if you are entertaining and want to impress your guests, but don’t have the time or skill to actually cook super fancy.  It’s a great entree, or would make a filling side alongside almost any meat dish.

Baby Beez loved the risotto, too!


One Response to “Risotto with Red Wine and Morels”

  1. Grace Louise April 16, 2012 at 7:44 am #

    I LOVE Morels. They are my favourite mushroom, the next favourite being girolles. Great post and its made me super hungry just before lunch! I’m not sure if you’re a vegetarian or not, but I love throwing in some leftover roast chicken into my mushroom risotto too.

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