Posted in Meal of the Week, World of Warcraft

Meal of the Day – Mushroom and Spinach Risotto (Winterveil/NYE special!)

So back on the topic of New Year’s traditions. We have poultry so that luck will fly to you. We have something green or orange for money (bank notes and gold respectively). Last but not least, we have something that takes a little bit of time and a whole lot of patience. Colin says that of course, is to always remember that good things take time. The Tauren have their cake ritual, but in Dalaran, Colin says, it was risotto.

What are the traditions of your family? What do you like to do during the New Year?

I have to say that risotto was a bit daunting to  me. It’s always been the fanciest of the fancy, no one asks for risotto outside of ya know… High ranking people. But just  like doing a deglaze and a flambe, it turns out this really wasn’t that hard. Vynluthein helped out, but… well we’ll get to that.

So of course, our cast of characters. For this, I have 8 oz of mushrooms, any sort of mix. I went with Kasarang shiitake and some Duskwood button mushrooms, about 4 oz of each.

You also need one bunch of spinach, one cup of shredded parmesan – halved, a cup and a half of short-grain rice (the type in Pandaren sushi, not the type in Darkspear jambalaya) and two large shallots, or enough to make half a cup. Not pictured, also half a cup of white wine. I didn’t just forget to add this to the picture, I forgot it completely. And about 5 cups of good stock. Again, like usual, I used garlic. I wanted my vegetarian girlfriend to be able to enjoy.

The first thing you do is melt some butter in a deep pan. Once it’s melted and hot over medium heat, throw in your mushrooms and shallots. We’re trying to sweat out some of the moisture and sweat the shallots. So you want them to start getting translucent and for the mushrooms to start losing some of their bulk.

Once they’ve reduced in size, add the wine. I had completely forgotten about the wine, and had to run out to the bar like a moron to grab a random bottle of dry white. Add it to the pan and let the alcohol cook off a little bit. Make sure that you have your broth ready to go. I like to keep mine in a small pot next to the pan so that I can ladle some into the pan as needed.

This is where the reputation for being a slow, cautious dish comes from. You are going to be adding a little bit of broth at a time and keeping the rice moving. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

But first you need to add said rice! Get it into the pan, mix it up with the rest of the ingredients, and then give it a few minutes to toast. I let mine go about 3 minutes, you don’t want to burn it.

Once that’s done, here comes the busybody part. Two ladles at a time (about half a cup) pour the broth into the rice and keep it moving. I used the butt of my ladle, but you can also use a wooden spoon. Keep it simmering and keep it moving. You’re not trying to break up the rice, so be delicate. You’re just trying to encourage it to get really starchy.

Once the broth is absorbed, add more. Do this until the broth is all gone, and if the rice isn’t done yet (taste it, if it’s still hard, it’s not ready) and you’re out of broth, use hot water to balance it out.

You’re wanting it to become sort of creamy and smooth-looking. This took me about 20 minutes, which after doing some research, seems about standard. The smell is amazing.

Also while you’re tasting it, you’ll notice it might need salt, but wait until a little later before adding it. And this stuff is gonna make your arm tired. It gets heavier the thicker it gets, but just don’t let it burn and make sure every grain gets access to the liquid.

At this point, it was about ready for the final few steps. Vyn was helping and Colin stepped out to work the bar. My brother Vyn is a Blood Knight and an Argent. He’s used to making split second, difficult decisions. He has to think on his feet and keep moving under stress.

So of course, when I asked him if he thought we should chop and destem the spinach, it took him about twenty minutes to answer yes or no. Your tax gold at work, fellow Sin’dorei.

We finally decided to not chop it.

We chose poorly.

Add the spinach (CHOP IT. CHOP IT OR IT BECOMES A TANGLED MESS) a handful at a time and let it wilt down. Once it’s incorporated, add half of the parmesan and let it melt a bit. At this point, season with salt and pepper and plate it up. Add a pinch of cheese to the top and watch everyone be impressed.

Though not gonna lie, the brussel sprouts kinda stole the show for this particular plate.

What I really like is that it’s easy to modify! I would love to do a seafood version with lobster and crab for Pryn. And all it takes is a bit of patience.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1.5 cup short grain rice (think Pandaren, not Darkspear)
  • 1 cup grated parmesan – halved
  • 5 cups broth
  • 8 oz mixed mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 large shallots (enough for about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 bunch spinach (about 10 oz?) chopped and stemmed
  • Butter for sauteeing

Instructions:

  1. In a high-walled pan, melt butter
  2. Add mushrooms and shallots and cook until shallots are just translucent, about 3 minutes
  3. Add wine, simmer to cook off alcohol
  4. Add rice, toast for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally
  5. Add broth, 2 ladles (1/2 cup about) at a time and keep the rice moving. You want to let it absorb all the broth without breaking the grains
  6. Add in the CHOPPED(!!) spinach a handful at a time and allow to wilt
  7. Add in half of the cheese
  8. Season with salt and pepper
  9. Plate, add the second half of the cheese to the top

Author:

Just you're basic -cough-'dorei tryin' to make it in Azeroth.

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