This is how a regular conversation with OB goes about an unknown/not previously used ingredient, when he accompanies me to the grocery store.
“Ooooooh oyster mushrooms!”
“What are those?”
“Oyster mushrooms, smell them,”
“They smell like fish!”
“That is why they are oyster mushrooms. I’m going to get some!”
“To cook with…duh!”
“What are you going to make?”
“I don’t know. Who cares they’re cool!”
“Fine. They better not go bad and funk up our refrigerator and waste $8.”
“Promise!” *kiss on the cheek, happy dance down the aisle*
The questions, What is that? What is it for? and What are you going to make? are standard when shopping with OB. Always the practical one he needs to know the purpose as opposed to me, I just say, “Who cares they’re cool!”
I cannot tell a lie, the oysters mushrooms sat in my refrigerator a day too long and one of the bunches definitely developed some funk, oopsy. Shhhh, don’t tell OB, it’s our secret.
Mushrooms are an incredible thing! It amazes me that something that grows in the forest on a tree can taste like it came from the sea. It almost makes your head spin.
I also found some dried wild lobster mushrooms. Bonus! I used fresh wild lobster mushrooms once in culinary school and to my amazement they tasted like lobster. MADNESS!
At first I had no clue what to make and then it hit me, risotto! I know it’s not exactly a summery dish, considering you have to stand in front of a hot stove for awhile and it’s on the heavy side, but I didn’t care I wanted risotto.
I put the dried mushrooms in some warm water for about 5 minutes to reconstitute.
Heat 3 cups of chicken stock, 1 cup of water and 1 cup of oyster juice in a medium size pot.
I then gave the oyster and lobster mushrooms a rough chop.
In a medium heavy bottom skillet over medium-high heat add 1 tbs of butter, 1 small shallot minced and 2 cloves of garlic minced, cook until translucent.
Add 1/2 cup of arborio rice to the skillet, stir and let cook for about 5 minutes.
Using a 4 oz ladle, ladle hot chicken stock over the rice and stir until the liquid is fully absorbed. When the rice appears almost dry, add another ladle of stock and repeat the process. Don’t walk away, the liquid will reduce faster then you think. About half way through doness add 1/2 cup of wine.
As it cooks, you’ll see that the rice develop a creamy consistency as it releases its natural starches. When the rice is about half way done add 1/4 cup of white wine keep stirring until the liquid is fully absorbed. Continue to add stock and stir until the rice is al dente, add mushrooms, stir until well combined. If you run out of stock you can use hot water.
Add 1 heaping tbs of whipped cream cheese, you could also use mascarpone.
Stir until well combined and creamy. If you like you can hit it with a little bit of heavy cream or cheese like parmesan if you like, it’s to your discretion. Season with salt to taste.
Serve immediately and when I say immediately, I mean immediately! The starches the rice releases while cooking firm up if held for too long and the risotto turns firm and gummy. No bueno!
I served the risotto with some pan seared pork tenderloin medallions seasoned with salt and pepper.
If you had any doubts, this dish was awesomeness. Not to toot my own horn, but TOOT TOOT! It was like faux version of surf and turf. Perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy the flavors of a seafood risotto without the seafood. I guess it would also work if you have a shellfish allergy.
It is almost freaky how the risotto has the flavor of seafood without actual seafood. Food is an amazing thing!