Tuesday 14 May 2013

Blessed Are The Merciful

Since I have about 1 cup of arborio rice and homemade chicken stock left after making seafood paella, I made myself mushroom risotto for lunch. This one got a big thumbs up from me.
To make a good basic mushroom risotto, a good chicken or vegetable stock is essential. You also need dried porcini, mixture of wild mushrooms,  and a  good splash of dry white wine. I did not have these at home, so I adapted from simplyrecipe simply because the recipe calls for any flavorful mushrooms and brandy.  This is the first time I am using brandy for  risotto and the brandy definitely makes the rice more flavorful than white wine!
Some people do not have the patience to stir risotto. I was listening to Norah Jones 'Don't Know Why' while doing the stirring.  I would like to say that it is quite therapeutic to do this. To me, it is like culinary therapy to soothe and calm the mind and body.

Mushroom Risotto
serves 4-6

2 tablespoons butter
2 cups flavorful mushrooms such as shitake, chanterelle, or oyster mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and cut into half inch to inch pieces. ( white buttons and shitake)
2/3 cup brandy, vermouth, or dry white wine (brandy)
5-6 cups chicken stock (use vegetable stock for vegetarian option)
1/3 cup of peeled and minced shallots ( OR 1/3 cup of yellow or white onion, finely chopped)
1 3/4 cups arborio rice or other risotto rice (3/4 cup arborio)
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper'2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley or chives


  • Bring stock to a simmer in a saucepan.
  • Melt the butter in a deep, heavy, medium sized saucepan over medium high heat. Add mushrooms and shallots and saute about 5 minutes (if using chanterelles, dry saute first for a minute or two and let the mushrooms cook in their own juices before  adding the butter). Add the rice and stir to combine.
  • Add brandy, bring to a boil, and reduce liquid by half, about 3-4 minutes. Add simmering stock, 1./2 cup at a time, stirring enough to keep the rice from sticking to the edges of the pan. Stir the rice almost constantly - stirring sloughs off the starch from the rice, making the creamy sauce you're looking for in a risotto. Wait until the stock is almost completely absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup. This process will take about 25 minutes. The rice should be just cooked and slightly chewy.
  • Stir in the Parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley or chives.

Note: The exact amount of chicken stock you need will vary depending on how hot your stove is, how much you stir the rice and how wide your pot is. I drizzled truffle oil just before serving. Risotto is best served immediately.

The Beatitudes

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy. Matthew 5:7

Those who show mercy are called blessed because they place showing mercy above their own rights; They are the people who understand mercy for they know their own inadequacies and weaknesses. When they have received grace and mercy from the Lord, they in turn know to show mercy to others. It is an act of forgiveness of the people who do us wrong and compassion for the suffering and the needy.

I am linking this post to Little Thumbs Up 'Mushroom' hosted by Joyce from Kitchen Flavours, and organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids and Mui Mui from My Little Favourite DIY.


  1. Hi Lian,
    Looks delicious! That's a quite a lot of brandy! I can imagine the fragrance and flavour it gives to this risotto!
    Thank you for linking to LTU!

  2. Thanks Joyce. That was an expensive Martell Cordon Bleu to splurge on cooking. Nobody drinks at home, so good for cooking.


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