Mushroom Risotto


4 Tbsp butter
2 cups chanterelle or oyster mushrooms (or other flavorful mushroom), cleaned*, trimmed, and cut into half inch to inch pieces
2/3 cup cognac
3/4 cup heavy cream
7 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 medium shallots, peeled and minced OR 6 Tbsp of yellow onion, finely chopped
1 3/4 cups arborio rice
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

*Note on the cleaning of mushrooms. If you are using any type of choice mushroom, do NOT rinse them! Brush off any remaining dirt lightly. Many mushrooms (including chanterelles) absorb water like sponges and washing them will make it much more difficult to cook properly.

1. Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté about 5 minutes (if using Chanterelles, dry sauté first for a minute or two and let the mushrooms cook in their own juices before adding the butter). Add cognac, bring to a boil, and reduce liquid by half, about 3-4 minutes. Lower heat to medium, add cream, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and set aside.

2. Bring stock to a simmer in a saucepan.

3. In a a deep, heavy, medium sized saucepan, heat oil and remaining butter. Add shallots or onions and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat with butter and oil. Add simmering stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring enough to keep the rice from sticking to the edges of the pan. Wait until the stock is almost completely absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup. This process will take about 20 minutes. The rice should be just cooked and slightly chewy.

4. Stir in the mushroom mixture and the Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve garnished with parsley.

Serves 4-6.