Baked Mushroom Risotto

My husband makes this amazing mushroom risotto that is quite possibly the best thing I’ve ever eaten. It’s so creamy and so decadent. A bowl of warm, rich comfort food, but it’s so elegant. The sautéed mushrooms are so delicious and give the dish such an earthy, nutty flavor. The Parmesan melts perfectly and I just can’t get enough of it. Now that I’ve got your mouth watering I’m sorry to say that this is not that recipe.

While I love risotto, it just requires too much time and attention for me to do with a toddler and a 8 month old constantly vying for my attention. I had to come up with a way to make this that didn’t require so much attention for such a long time. I started experimenting with oven baked “risotto” and I think I’ve finally gotten it to be almost as good as the original. And almost as good as the best thing I’ve ever eaten is still pretty delicious, so I’m satisfied.

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Baked Mushroom Risotto

Ingredients:

5 cups chicken broth, low sodium
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound fresh mushrooms, such as cremini or shiitake, sliced
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon truffle oil
1/2 ounce dried chanterelle or porcini mushrooms, wiped of grit
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated

Preparation:

  1. Reconstitute the dried mushrooms in 1 cup of water heated just to boiling and removed from heat for 30 minutes. Do this before you are ready to start cooking the risotto.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large oven proof skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Add the fresh mushrooms, thyme and butter. Saute for 3 to 5 minutes until lightly browned, season with salt and pepper. Drizzle in truffle oil.
  4. While cooking strain the water off of the dried mushrooms and combine with chicken stock to get a total of 4 cups of liquid. Warm this liquid while the mushrooms cook.
  5. Remove the mushrooms from the pan. Add another tablespoon of olive oil and the rice. Saute about a minute until the grains turn translucent. Add the sherry to deglaze the pan. Then add the warm stock mixture, cover and put in the oven for 30-45 minutes. Start checking the rice at 30 minutes to make sure that it remains al dente and doesn’t turn to mush on you.
  6. While the rice is cooking puree the dried mushrooms with a few table spoons of chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. When the rice is done (most of the liquid is absorbed, but still al dente), remove from the oven, add the remaining cup of chicken stock, the Parmesan, dried mushroom puree, salt, and pepper, and stir for 2 to 3 minutes, until the rice is thick and creamy. Gently fold in the sautéed mushrooms and serve immediately.