The best wine to use in this creamy, cheesy and mushroom-flavored dish of rice is Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris!
1½ cups Arborio rice
450g mushrooms of choice – sliced
5-6 cups homemade chicken stock – keep hot
½ cup dry white wine – preferably Pinot Gris
2 shallots – chopped (Don’t cut too finely.)
⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
1. To keep the stock hot, take it in a stockpot/ saucepan, and place over low heat. It should very gently simmer, not bubble or boil.
2. Take half the butter in a large frying pan, and place it on low heat. (Heating the pan first and then putting the butter would result in the fat burning off.) Once melted and foaming, add the mushrooms. Season with salt, then stir to coat well in butter. Cook, occasionally stirring until they are browned. Transfer the mushrooms and any pan juices to a bowl.
3. Return the frying pan to heat and pour in the olive oil. Once hot, tip in the shallots. Cook on low heat, stirring regularly, for 10 minutes, until softened. Then, pour in the Arborio and stir until every grain is slick.
4. Allow the rice to get slightly golden, and then pour in the wine. Let the rice fully absorb the wine. The alcohol is going to burn off, and only the flavour is going to be soaked up by the rice.
5. Now, when the wine has been completely absorbed, add a ladle of hot stock. Stir, allow the stock to be absorbed. As you stir the rice, you encourage it to release its starch, turning the liquid in the pan into a beautiful sauce. Keep stirring, and adding another ladle of stock as the previous one dries up.
6. By the time you add the last ladle of stock to the pan, the rice would be soft, yet al dente, which means its ‘soul’ would still have a bite. At this stage, add the reserved mushrooms and any stock, the remaining butter and the cheese. Stir till everything is beautifully incorporated, ladle out onto plates and serve immediately!
Remember, this is an essential recipe. Modify it to your liking – you can surely add some peas, some ham, chicken… the possibilities are countless! Also, don’t forget to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section!