Monday, April 6, 2009


No, it's ok I am not talking about feral skin conditions.

I'm talking about funghi! My husband and I have a lot in common. We like to argue about the same things. Ha! And we both love mushrooms, truffles... yum.

Anyway now that my dinner preparation usually involves supervising a very cheeky toddler and a pair of naughty little dogs, I tend to stick to the most basic meals. One dish that always pleases is my mushroom risotto. It's good because it is easy and it involves ingredients we nearly almost have in our pantry.

Even my fussy little Tinker loves it.

I thought I'd show you how I have altered my usual recipe which used to involve me spending a truckload at Simon Johnson on black truffles and then going out in search of 5 different types of mushrooms, lots of chopping and so on. The other day I sat down and tried to work out a cheats version.
Inspired by that show Four Ingredients I thought I'd see how few ingredients I could combine to get the risotto to taste more or less the same as it did with my original version.

As an aside, what's with those presenters on Four Ingredients? One has an extremely bogan accent to the extreme and the other has what would have to be THE most patronising voice on television. Anyway they are great on mute.

Ok so I was going to go through my original recipe and then show you the new and improved super cheats version but I've decided to cut the original because I'm sure you all have a mushroom & truffle risotto recipe with about 20 ingredients. This is about making things simple so I'll stick with the new one.

I have perfected it now and here are the ingredients, followed by my step by step photos.

Instead of 5 different types of mushroom:

* Dried porcini mushrooms chopped 50-100g whatever you prefer. I like 100g for more flavour.

(they come in 50g packs usually chopped for you)

* 150ml Truffle oil

Instead of buying the actual things. I have saved you a few hundred dollars here alone! Here I have used The Essential Ingredient's own variety from Italy. It was $59.95 for 500ml. You can buy a smaller bottle if you like but I use this A LOT.

* 1 cup FROZEN chopped onion

Instead of standing around chopping an onion, I now play games with my Tinker. Prioritise- why chop onion when you can open the freezer and grab a bag already done. If it is only going to be cooked up anyway it is no different. Finding this was a revelation! Available in your frozen foods section at the supermarket.

* 1 bunch chopped continental parsley

Not essential, if you don't have any in the fridge or the garden it doesn't really matter.

*Small packet pre-sliced mushrooms from Woolworths

*125g Lurpak Garlic Butter
This butter from Denmark comes in a small foil packet, you use the entire stick 125g, if you are counting the calories go make a salad, this isn't the recipe for you. Using this butter saves you peeling and crushing a few cloves of garlic and adding separate butter. See? Easy!

*Couple of handfuls of Gran Padano or regular Parmesan cheese (or as much as you like) Gran Padano has a great flavour and a bit creamier tasting than say a regular parmeggiano and freezes really well too.

*Bunch of baby spinach leaves

I buy a packet at Woolworths that has baby spinach and watercress, I think this is a good mix. We always have it in the fridge for salads or risotto. Whatever you prefer, really it doesn't add a great deal of flavour anyway.

*1- 2cups dry white wine

When I made this the other day we had a bottle of chardonnay already open (a friend left it here) so I used that, but really you want a nice dry white ideally. I say 1-2 cups because it depends on your taste. See how you go.

*500ml Campbells Chicken Consomme

Tastes better than the stock. I used to always have my own home made stocks on hand in the freezer. These days I have no time for boiling bones etc and this worked perfectly.

*2 cups Arborio Rice

Put the dry porcini mushrooms into a cup of boiling water with a lid. Leave for about 20 mins then drain, keep the water and add it to the consomme later.

Put the onion and garlic butter into the heavy based pan and sweat through the butter til soft.

Add the rice and stir til coated nicely in the butter. Add a couple of spoonfuls of the truffle oil.

Keep stirring til rice browns slightly, pour in half a cup of the wine stirring til it is all gone.

Add all the mushrooms.

Pour in the other half cup of wine, stir til all gone.

Add your chicken consomme and the water from the dried mushroom a little bit at a time til all gone.

Keep stirring because you don't want your rice going sticky. Test it, it should be al dente now. Add the greens and stir. Take it off the heat.

Add the grated cheese - stir through and serve.

See? Easy! You can put a little drizzle of the truffle oil on at the end.

We had it with roast chicken but you can have it as is, we just had the chicken so why not cook it as well.


  1. That looks amazing - I might have to get my domestic goddess on and cook :)

  2. My husband would love that. I can't beleive though that your 'basic' cheats version is way more complicated than anything I ever cook!

  3. Looks devine! May have to give that a try this weekend.

  4. I would love to try this recipe... Looks really yummy! thanks for sharing..