Emily from Marx Foods (a nice internet-based distributor of fresh, in-season food items) recently pointed me towards an interesting and rewarding contest they are currently hosting on their website. All it requires is your favorite mushroom-based recipe and you could win two whole glorious pounds of fresh Morel mushrooms. Here's my entry, a delicious Asian-themed risotto utilizing my personal favorite mushroom, Maitake (or Hen of the Woods.)
Maitake Mushroom Risotto:
1 lb. Maitake Mushrooms (trimmed of stems, stems reserved, broken apart gently)
Butter (as needed)
Rinse the mushrooms and dry gently. Saute gently in melted butter. Season with salt, pepper, touch of lemon juice. Set aside.
1 T. canola oil
1 cup leeks, sliced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup carrot, diced
trimmed Maitake stems, rough chopped
Sweat veggies in the oil until translucent, add stems and 4 cups water. Simmer gently for about 30 minutes. Strain.
1 T. Olive Oil
1/4 cup minced shallots
1 cup Sushi Rice (or any other short-grain rice)
3 cups mushroom broth with 1/2 cup white wine, kept hot
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
Sauteed Maitake mushrooms
Sweat shallots in oil, add rice and stir until outside coating of rice is translucent.
Add broth/wine just to cover, stirring occasionally, until rice, when stirred, pulls away from the bottom of pan, then repeating until rice is al dente and creamy. Stir in sauteed mushrooms, cheese. Serve drizzled with a nice olive oil and shaved Pecorino.