{meatless monday} — creamy sauteed leek and shitake mushroom risotto

10 Sep

i have been wanting to try to make my own risotto for weeks now.  there seems to be a stigma attached to making risotto – like it’s the hardest thing in the world to make or something. i don’t know, i think it’s just time consuming, so many people don’t want to bother with it.

when i batch cook, i don’t mind taking a little extra time to make something i can eat for a few days. also, someone recommended another sweet recipe for leftover risotto, which i plan to make this week for thirsty thursday – so stay tuned for that!

i was inspired by leeks. i never really use them and yet i love the flavour. mushroom risotto is kind of classic, so i figured i’d just toss the leeks in with the familiar favourite.  shitake mushrooms are loaded with flavour as well, and they have wonderful healing properties.  plus, they were one of the only organic and local mushroom selections available, so i opted for them.

ingredients :

– 2 cups arborio rice

– 8 cups chicken broth

– 6-8 small mushrooms

– 1 medium sized leek

– olive oil, S&P

begin by rinsing and chopping your leek width-ways… only use the middle part of the stalk – the greener ends are too fibrous and bitter, so use the fleshy green middle.  saute on medium heat with a couple spins of olive oil in the pan.

once they brown up a bit, toss in your chopped mushrooms.  the key to “washing” mushrooms is to wipe them down with a wet paper towel.  you want to avoid submerging them in water, as it will make the texture more rubbery, and we don’t want that.

add in a little more EVOO if necessary, and saute the mushrooms down…

meanwhile, on another burner, heat up your chicken broth on low to medium heat and grab a ladle.  we will spoon in some broth to our rice one ladle at a time when ready…

back to the dish – toss in your 2 cups rice and toast it for about a minute. just FYI – i read online that with risotto, you do NOT want to rinse the rice – arborio rice is extra starchy {which is why you get the risotto consistency} so if you rinse the rice, you lose some of that creamy texture.

the more you know…

add one cup dry white wine per two cups rice to pan and allow it to absorb…

it adds yummy flavour to the rice… use a wooden spoon {or silicone spatula as i did} in order not to break up the rice too much… stir slowly until wine is absorbed…

now reach for the other pot with the broth, and once it is warmed up, add in one ladle of broth at a time… stirring slowly until absorbed…

continue this process, allowing the liquid to absorb each time, cooking until the rice is kind of “al dente” – the recipe is about 4 cups liquid per 1 cup rice. for this dish, i double the quantity, knowing i wanted leftovers…

remember to spoon in one ladle at a time, you can always add more. i didn’t end up using the full 8 cups of liquid – just use your inner chef’s gut and go with what feels right – keep tasting the rice, checking for the right texture and consistency… you want this dish to be a little creamy at the end, as the starches release from the rice and mix with the broth…

add in some freshly-grated parmesan cheese {or omit for a vegan option} and a little S&P to taste, then give it one final spin…

then remove from heat, continuing to stir slowly… until creamy desired consistency is reached…

it looks something like this.  top with a little more parmesan and dig right in!

i’m super pleased with how this turned out.  excited to make my risotto balls tonight for the MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL game!  wooooo!

oh, and how ’bout them broncos?!  can’t wait to get me an orange jersey!

🙂  happy monday!

20 Responses to “{meatless monday} — creamy sauteed leek and shitake mushroom risotto”

  1. keiththegreen September 10, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    Reblogged this on Keith the Green's Blog and commented:
    For those looking for meatless dishes, visit here mondays


  2. the usual bliss September 10, 2012 at 10:50 am #

    I made my first risotto recently. It’s SO delish, but took a long time. I was ready for a long time but this was loooooong. I’m wondering if high altitude has something to do with how quickly the rice absorbs liquid.
    Take a peek: http://theusualbliss.com/2012/08/26/cooking-lesson…-takes-forever/


  3. anthony0358 September 10, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    oh this looks yummy, and perfect for football season


    • cooking with audrey September 10, 2012 at 11:50 am #

      stay tuned, anthony — the risotto balls i’m making for tonight’s game are {hopefully} going to be even better!


  4. Our Growing Paynes September 10, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

    Never thought to use leeks for the risotto but I’m going to try it. Risotto is a hit in this house so I like to find variations.


    • cooking with audrey September 10, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

      awesome! it’s becoming a favourite of mine for sure. what do you like to put in it most?!


      • Our Growing Paynes September 10, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

        We use mushrooms and peas. Peas from the garden when we can. I’ll use my homemade chicken, turkey, or duck stock depending on what I have in the pantry. It’s such an easy meal for those busy days.


      • cooking with audrey September 10, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

        sounds divine! peas from the garden.. perfect! thank you for stopping by and for the comment! 🙂


  5. CJ September 10, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

    I really love meatless dishes, this one you prepared looks excellent. I like the 365 products and usually get them whenever i’m at WF. Have a wonderful day 🙂


    • cooking with audrey September 10, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

      365 is a great line and they are guaranteed GMO free! gotta love that. thanks for your comment, CJ! i love to use mushrooms in place of meat, you’ll see that a lot on my blog. i love my fungi! 😉


  6. Food Stories September 10, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    Great little recipe, i love it…meatless is so good and i like the 365 products… thanks for posting 🙂


    • cooking with audrey September 10, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

      thanks so much! i love substituting mushrooms as meat in dishes, they are so hearty and the texture is great! not to mention flavour. i’m a big 365 fan, indeed 😉


  7. mylifeisthebestlife September 11, 2012 at 6:20 am #

    I’ve never made risotto, but your recipe is intriguing!


    • cooking with audrey September 11, 2012 at 10:05 am #

      apparently mushroom risotto is the most commonly made. i originally wanted to make it back when english peas were still available… but alas, it’s too late. this turned out nice, though… very savory!



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