Mushroom Risotto


5 - 6 oz (160 g) fresh ceps fboletus edulis) or 2 - 3 oz (50 - 90g) dried mushrooms
3 tbsp clarified butter
1/2 small clove garlic, crushed (optional)
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley (optional)

for the basic risotto:

11 1/2 oz (320 g) risotto rice (e.g. arborio)
2 3/4 pints (1 1/2 litres) chickenstock
2 1/2 oz (70 g) butter
2 shallots, very finely chopped
2 1/2 fl oz (70 ml) dry vermouth or dry white wine
4 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground white pepper


1. If you are using dried mushrooms, put them to soak in a bowl of warm water 30 minutes before starting preparation. Set the stock to come to boiling point over a moderate heat.

2. While it is heating, melt 1 oz (30 g) of the butter in a fairly deep, wide heavy-bottomed frying pan or a large, shallow saucepan and cook the shallot over a low heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

3. Add the rice and cook, stirring over a slightly higher heat for 1 1/2 minutes. Sprinkle in the dry vermouth, cook briefly, until it has evaporated and then add about 8 fl oz (225 ml) of boiling
hot stock. Cook until the rice has absorbed almost all the liquid, stirring from time to time, then add more stock, and continue cooking with the occasional stir, adding more boiling liquid whenever necessary.
4. Test the rice after 14 minutes; it should be tender but firm. Prepare the mushrooms. Wipe with a slightly dampened cloth and cut off the stalks. Rinse briefly if wished, dry immediately with kitchen paper and slice.

5. If you are using dried mushrooms, drain them, squeeze out excess moisture and cut into small pieces. Heat the clarified butter and stir-fry the mushrooms for 2 - 3 minutes at most over a fairly high heat.

6. Season lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper. As soon as the risotto is ready, remove from the heat, add the remaining, solid, butter, the Parmesan cheese and the mushrooms; fold into the risotto. Add the garlic and parsley.

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