Monday, January 18, 2016

Date Night Continued: Risotto with Mushrooms and Sage


Every so often we need to put a little romance in the mix.

I thrive on the energy I get from going out, whether it may be a night out walking around the new 'Village' or trying a new restaurant, or listening to a live band.  I just love it!  MGG, not so much.  He doesn't get that same excitement level I get from a crowd.  

He likes to slow down, relax, and have a nice quiet, romantic evening in a quiet cafe or preferably at home.  This has led me to create some of our date nights, at home.  Setting the mood with candlelight, mood music, and a themed dinner helps create that intimate atmosphere.

Planning the menu if a fun part of the task in creating the event.  This night was a riff on an Italian theme that I deemed a "Night in Rome".  The menu consisted of a succulent Balsamic Steak, this decadent Risotto with Mushrooms and Sage, and some tender vegetables.  Round out the meal with a special wine we bought at a local vineyard, and some crusty bread, and you have one heck of a date night meal!  

Today, let explore the risotto.  I just love risotto.  MGG just loves risotto.  Although the steak was incredible, I will say that the star was the Risotto. Can you say comfort food? (as my Grandma would say, Oh. my. lands!)  It was creamy, earthy, and just so decadent.  We both wanted seconds...okay maybe thirds!

Now I know you are going to say risotto is involved.  It takes time, and yes, it does.  But it is so worth it.  So so worth it!   I was lucky enough to get a wonderful Breville Risotto Plus make for Christmas, which makes making risotto a snap.  So if you can splurge on this risotto/slow cookers (a multi tasking item) I would totally recommend it.  I love mine.  Just so you know, it sautes, is a rice cooker, a risotto maker, and a slow cooker all in one.  Love the double duty items!  So below I have my recipe, using my risotto maker, but I've included steps for making this on the stovetop as well.

The end result?  this was the bomb!  It came out perfect with my risotto make, just like you stood there stirring all evening. And this was the perfect, comforting side dish that made our date night even better!

Enjoy your date night!

Risotto with Mushrooms and Sage

Serves: Yields 8 side dish servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium shallots, small diced
8 oz pound fresh baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon ground sage
salt & pepper
½ cup dry white wine
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cups Arborio rice
¾ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

In a saute pan, or if you have a saute feature on your slow cooker, cook shallots along with olive oil and butter until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute until softened slightly, about 3-5 minutes. Add sage and season with salt and pepper.

Add rice to toast, stirring frequently another 3 minutes. Add the wine and cook 2-3 minutes until the liquid is absorbed.

For the Risotto maker: Switch your setting from Saute to Risotto. Stir in the broth and cover with a lid. Risotto will cook about 20-30 minutes and will automatically switch to the WARM setting when complete. Remove the lid and stir through the cheese. Test for seasonings and serve.

For Stove top directions: Reduce your heat to medium. Use a ladle to add a cup of hot broth to the rice. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon over medium heat until broth is almost fully absorbed. Add the remaining stock a ladle at a time, stirring constantly and adding more broth only after the previous addition has been absorbed, until the rice begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 16 to 20 minutes.

The risotto is done when it is creamy and the grains are plump and tender with a slight resistance to the bite. Remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan. Serve immediately.

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