Tag Archives: risotto

Creamy white rice risotto with shiitake mushrooms

I love brown rice, I really do. It IS possible to make a brown rice risotto, there are recipes in macro cookbooks, and I even have one here on the blog. Nevertheless, there is something about a traditional creamy white rice risotto…..so I gave it a try and here it is, we loved it!!

Since I was making a vegan risotto, I didn´t use a chicken broth, which you can find in many recipes. Instead I prepared a stock using some leftover water from blanching vegetables, in which I soaked 4 shiitake mushrooms, for a couple of hours. The shiitakes give a wonderful earthy rich flavour to the broth as they soak. After taking out the shiitakes, I added one tablespoon of rice miso diluted in a little bit of water and I brought the broth to boil.

After completing this step I sauteed a large sliced onion on olive oil with a pinch of salt. When the onion softened I added one and a half cup of white risotto rice, stirred to coat with the oil and added a splash of mirin (that is instead of white wine which is required in several recipes). After the mirin soaked into the rice, I started adding the warm broth (you can leave the broth gently simmering with a lid off on your lowest flame to keep it warm during cooking). I added always only half a cup of the broth at a time and kept stirring continuously, watching for the liquid to soak in. You should not let the risotto get completely dry and without liquid, but also don´t add more liquid before the previous one is at least mostly absorbed. Risotto requires your constant attention and stirring, so don´t leave it just sitting there 😀 Don´t worry, the result is worth the effort!!

Meanwhile (or before you start making the rice) sautee your soaked and thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms in some olive oil until they become very fragrant and shrink considerably, they can almost start caramelizing. Set them aside, it´s ok if they cool down.

I put six cups of broth into my risotto (different recipes call for different ratios of rice and broth). The point is: the rice should get soft, but not overcooked, it should still have a bite, while being very creamy. This should take about half an hour. At the end I mixed in the sauteed mushrooms, some nutritional yeast for extra cheesy flavour (totally optional) and some extra salt and pepper.

I served the risotto with black olives, fresh chopped parsley and some steamed savoy cabbage.

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Miso risotto with mushrooms and celery root

I love to make creamy risotto-style rice. With brown rice it´s a bit difficult to make a real Italian risotto, which requires stirring in small amounts of liquid at a time, which means a lot of time spent standing above the pot…not such a task with quick cooking white rice, but quite a job when you´re using slow cooking short-grain brown rice! 😀 This is a bit of a compromise, but the flavour is very rich and surprisingly similar to an authentic risotto!

I pressure cooked my regular brown rice with water and rice milk, in a 1:1 ratio. After the pressure came down, I took the lid off, placed the pot again on a low flame and stirred in some rice miso diluted with a little bit of water and let the rice absorb the liquid while stirring with a wooden spoon, for maybe five minutes. The whole point is to get the rice creamy, that´s all…

While pressure cooking, I sauteed some sliced onion with a pinch of salt, on a bit of olive oil, and when it got translucent, I added chopped mushrooms and thin strips of celery root and proceeded to cook until all got soft and caramelized. I seasoned the vegetables with tamari soy sauce and caraway seeds. When the rice got creamy, I stirred in the veggies. The risotto was served with a side of freshly blanched curly (savoy) cabbage.

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Brown rice risotto

This risotto is my slightly adapted version of the Brown rice risotto in Christina Pirello´s cookbook Cooking the Whole Foods Way. It´s one of the best brown rice dishes I´ve EVER tasted and that´s quite something! So rich and creamy that nobody will miss the white rice usually associated with Italian risotto.

First soak one and a half cups of brown rice (the recipe calls for medium-grain but I used short-grain) for 6-8 hours. Drain and rinse well. In a stainless steel pot with a heavy bottom, heat one teaspoon of olive oil, add rice and stir to coat all the rice with oil. Add a pinch of salt, 1/4 cup of mirin and 3/4 cup of water. Cover pot with a lid and cook on a medium flame until liquid absorbs, stirring at times. As soon as the liquid disappears, stir in minced garlic (2 to 3 cloves) and one small minced onion.

Meanwhile prepare your vegetable stock (5 cups), in case you don´t already have some saved. You can either make a stock from sliced vegetables which you strain after some time of cooking or you can use a vegetable bouillon cube/powder. I used a powder made of various dried and crushed root vegetables. I also mixed in two teaspoons of diluted barley miso, for 5 cups of liquid, and let it simmer for about five minutes. Christina doesn´t use miso in her recipe but I found it being very flavourful.

Once the onion and garlic are mixed through your rice, add half a cup of stock, cover again and cook, stirring frequently, until liquid is absorbed. Continue cooking this way, adding always half a cup of stock at a time. And keep stirring…It will take 45 to 60 minutes depending on various factors, mostly probably on the type of rice you choose (short-grain cooks longest). The rice should get very creamy and tender.

Towards the end, sautee some sliced leek and carrot on a teaspoon of olive oil with a pinch of salt. When your rice is ready, stir them in. I topped the risotto with minced fresh basil leaves.

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