I tried making risotto once. It did not turn out. So why did I decide to tackle something that was this intimidating this early on? Come on, guys. It’s obvious. I’m a gamer and gamer’s do not give up and do not take the easy road when it comes to conquering a difficult challenge. How many of you have come across a puzzle that was difficult and said to yourself “Nah. It’s too hard. I’ll just pretend like this side quest doesn’t exist and that’ll be just fine”? The answer is none of you. Guys, we are the ones who stick with it to the end. The completionists. The puzzle-solving-it’s-2-AM-because-once-more-will-do-the-trick kind of people. And that’s why I attempted this terrifying food so early on. Why not chalk up the win from the get-go? And with this recipe I found it was definitely worth it.
A few pointers before we begin:
- Risotto should never be made in a regular pan. A heavy-bottom pot or enameled cast-iron pan are really the best. They keep a hot temperature that isn’t easily changed by adding liquids.
- I cannot say this strongly enough: once you start stirring your rice you can. not. stop. If you stop the rice will burn to the bottom, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!
- You must use Italian rice. It has a special type of starch that allows the rice to stick together, unlike any other kind of rice. The best (according to one author) are: Arborio, Vialone Nano, and Carnaroli. I use Arborio, myself
- Musrooms are versatile but you definitely want some with flavor. I used portobellini’s for this recipe but other options could be portabella’s, porcini, or shiitakes.
Now that the rules are over with, we start with the prep work. Once you start cooking your Risotto you can’t, and I do mean that (see warning above), stop stirring it. So keep everything nice and handy and ready to throw in the pot. Start with getting your diluted vegetable broth simmering. It needs to stay at a slow simmer the entire time you make your risotto. Then fine dice onion, large dice mushrooms and get them soaking, grate Parmesan cheese, cut 2 tablespoons butter and separate into 1 tablespoon pats, measure out your vegetable oil, and ready your salt and pepper.
Heat up your nice, heavy pan and add the oil and butter. Cook the onion until it’s nice and tender and get ready for the fun/exciting/scary/hot part: the rice.
Add all the rice, stir it around until every grain is coated in the butter mixture, and start adding your broth 1/2 cup at a time. I found that using a ladle was perfect for this. It was easy to keep in my left hand while my right stirred like crazy to keep the risotto from sticking. I made sure my set up was broth on the left, risotto on the right. But feel free to switch it up! We don’t discriminate against lefty’s here.
Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan until all the liquid has been absorbed and then add a second ladleful of broth. Keep stirring and keep repeating until it’s been 10 minutes. At this point, when you would add more broth, instead add the mushrooms and soak water. When that liquid is evaporated and absorbed add more broth. Continue until the rice is tender but still has a bite. Some like it crunchy in the center. Mine was definitely not crunchy but you don’t want it soft. It’ll go mushy if your rice isn’t still al dente.
Add Parmesan cheese because it’s delicious, correct for salt and pepper, and enjoy while it’s hot!
Link’s Mushroom Risotto recipe:
- Hylian Rice
- Goat Butter
- Rock Salt
- Any Mushroom
Mushroom Risotto with Parmesan cheese from Breath of the Wild
Adapted from Essentials of Italina Cooking by Marcella Hazan
- 5 total cups diluted vegetable broth, 2.5 cups broth + 2.5 cups water
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons onion, diced very fine
- 2 cups Arborio rice (or other Italian rice-see note above)
- 3 ounces Portabellini mushrooms (or other mushrooms-see note above), diced, soaking in 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring broth to a very slow, steady simmer on a burner near where you’ll be cooking the risotto.
- Heat your heavy-bottom pan on medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of butter and the vegetable oil.
- When the butter is melted add the onion and cook until it becomes translucent.
- Add all the rice and stir quickly and thoroughly until the grains are well coated.
- Add 1/2 cup of simmering broth and cook the rice, stirring constantly with a long wooden spoon or spatula until the liquid is gone. Make sure you wipe all the sides and bottom of the pan clean as you stir. You must never stop stirring and you must wipe the pot completely clean frequently or the rice will stick.
- When there is no more liquid in the pot, add another 1/2 cup of broth and stir as described in step 5. Continue to add broth and stir in this manner.
- When the rice has cooked for 10 minutes, add the mushrooms and water. Continue to stir until there is no more liquid.
- Finish cooking the rice with broth, or, if you have no more broth, with water. Cook the rice until it is tender, but firm to the bite, with no more liquid remaining in the pot. This will take anywhere from 18-25 minutes total.
- Off heat, add a few grindings of pepper, the remaining tablespoon of butter, and all the Parmesan cheese. Stir thoroughly until the cheese melts and clings to the rice. Taste and correct for salt. Transfer to a platter and serve promptly with additional grated cheese on the table.