When it’s ‘wing night’ at my house, meaning my husband is out with the guys “dining” (I’m using that term loosely) on buffalo wings, fries and beer at an establishment where the wings have more covering them than the waitresses, I will make a pan of risotto all.for.myself. Friends, I’m not ashamed to tell you that I will eat the entire pan as my meal. That’s right — one forkful after another until it’s gone. I have no shame in this, because when something is this good, it’s okay to keep eating. In fact, I have a theory. Some of the stuff I eat (chips and dip, whole pans of risotto, Nutella straight from the jar) is because these foods contain nutrients my body is lacking at that particular time and which only these foods items will supply. A nutritionist (or really any sane person) would probably say something to the contrary, but that is how I justify eating an entire pan of risotto — especially this risotto. There are so many varieties of risotto, but I really love the sweet-savory thing going on with Mushroom Cherry Risotto and if you need meat in your life, as we all do
some most days, it pairs really well with Pork Tenderloin with Fig-Wine Glaze.
Now my husband will eat risotto but mind you, he’s a carnivore so if there’s risotto, there needs to be some sort of animal on the table as well. “Risotto?”, he asks. “What’s that?” — literally every time. “It’s rice”, I respond. . .and that makes it okay in his book — as long as there is meat, too. Risotto=no. Rice=yes. Moving on.
It takes about as much time to make Mushroom Cherry Risotto as the Pork Tenderloin with Fig-Wine Glaze bakes in the oven, making them a perfect couple — like Jen and Ben Affleck. . .wait, they broke up. I know, it makes me sad, too because we feel like we knew them, right? Like we could call her on her cell — hey Jen, is it okay if I borrow that dress you wore to the Oscars? Oh, Ben. . .but I digress, because we’re here to talk about Mushroom Cherry Risotto — a couple that will NOT break up.
You’ll start by warming the stock in a sauce pan so it’s ready to go when you are. Get out a deep skillet and over medium heat warm the olive oil and melt about a tablespoon of the butter. Add the onions and garlic and sauté, then let the mushrooms and thyme join the party. Pour in the star of the show, the Arborio rice. Give it all a few good spins around the pan with your spoon until everything is coated.
Start ladling in the stock, one ladle at a time stirring slowly so you don’t splash stock all over the front of yourself (I ugh, ahem do this every time), stirring, stirring, stirring, adding more stock when it’s absorbed, stirring, stirring, stirring — this process will be repeated several times until the stock is gone and the rice is al dente. During the stirring process, you may have been wondering if you’re stirring enough — NO! Stir more. . .and I mean this in the most loving way. . .but yes, stir more.
Finally, add the last two tablespoons of butter and heavy cream (no one said this was figure-friendly!) and cheese. Blend in the cherries and most of the parsley, saving a small sprinkle for garnish. Now go eat!
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 1 clove of garlic, grated
- 3 tablespoons of onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup of mushrooms, chopped
- 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme, finely minced
- 1 cup aborio rice
- 4 cups of chicken stock
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup dried tart cherries, chopped
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
- Pour the chicken stock into a saucepan and warm over low heat.
- In a deep skillet, heat the olive oil and 1 T of butter.
- Add the onions and garlic and sauté about 1 minute.
- Drop in mushrooms and continue cooking 3-4 minutes.
- Blend in thyme and a generous pinch of salt.
- Add the rice and stir.
- Begin adding the stock, one ladle at a time stirring slowly and when the stock is absorbed, continue adding stock one ladle at a time until it's absorbed and the rice is al dente.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and heavy cream, stirring to blend.
- Stir in the parmesan and butter.
- Add the cherries and most of the parsley, saving a small sprinkle for garnish.