I have always wanted to try to make risotto but have always been so scared too. It seemed like way too much work. The first time I had it was at 3 Guys and a Stove in Collingwood, ON. I had the mushroom risotto and it was amazing. I loved that restaurant. Everything I had there was so good and can't wait to go there again. The second time I had risotto was at a big fancy restaurant and it was horrible. So bland...it reminded me of gulati and it made gulati taste amazing. (Gulati is something my mom would make if someone had diarrhea. You cook basmati rice in a bunch of water and keep cooking until it's mush and then add some butter, salt and pepper). After having that bland risotto I thought I could cook better than this. I found this recipe at Cookin' Canuck. It looked so simple. It wasn't traditional risotto but I wanted to give it a try. The first time I made it it was a little bland for us so the next time I increased the onions, garlic and porcini mushrooms. I only like to use whole wheat pasta so it took some searching to find whole wheat orzo and luckily at the same store I found porcini mushrooms. Next time I would like to try it with arborio rice. My four year old made a face as soon as he tried it since he doesn't like mushrooms but my 1 year old gobbled it up!
Porcini and Cremini Mushroom Orzo "Risotto"
Adapted from Cookin' Canuck
3 tsp dried porcini mushrooms
3/4 cup hot water
2 1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 tsp olive oil
3/4 medium onion
3 cloves garlic, chopped
4 oz cremini mushrooms
1 cup orzo pasta
1/8 cup Parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper
3/4 tsp sea salt or to taste
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
In a small bowl, combine dried porcini mushrooms and hot water for about 40 minutes, or until mushrooms are reconstituted. Remove mushrooms and squeeze out liquid. Set the soaking liquid aside.
In a saucepan, combine the broth and mushroom soaking liquid. Bring to a simmer. Lower heat and keep warm.
Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add crimini mushrooms and cook until mushrooms and onion are tender, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and stir. Cook for 30 seconds.
Add the orzo and mix well. Stir in porcini mushrooms.
Add 1 cup of the broth at a time to orzo. The next cup is added once most of the liquid is absorbed. Be sure to stir frequently.
Once the orzo is tender and creamy, add Parmesan, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning. Garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.