September is the season for gathering wild mushrooms in Scotland. In the spirit of that, here is a risotto with wild mushrooms and Mull of Kintyre Mature Cheddar from Campbeltown Creamery in Kintyre, Scotland. If you know how to make risotto then you already know how to make this one. If not, I will walk you though it step-by-step. (Serves 4)
If you have access to fresh wild mushrooms then use them. Like most people however, my availability is limited to dried mushrooms. I used a mixture of morels and porcinis.
Mull of Kintyre Medium Cheddar is a white semi-hard cheese with an interesting nutty flavor. Here in the US, I get it from iGourmet.com. My second choice would be one of the cave-aged cheddars that are readily available in specialty stores here in the US.
1.5 Cups Arborio rice
1/2 ounce dried wild mushrooms (I used morels and porcini)
1 cup white wine
4 cups chicken stock
4 ounces Mull of Kintyre Cheddar, grated
Sale & Pepper
Simmer the dried mushrooms in about 2 cups of water for about 10 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the water, saving it for later. Chop the mushrooms into quarter-inch pieces and set them aside.
Heat the chicken stock in a saucepan to a low simmer. You’ll be adding the stock to the rice in small amounts (1/2-1 cup) at a time. It’s important that the stock you add be HOT. If you add cold stock then doing so will stop the cooking process.
Heat a little olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the rice. Stir the rice so it does not stick. Within about a minute you’ll see the grains of rice start to become translucent. Pour in the wine. Stir frequently (like about once a minute) When the the rice has absorbed most of the wine, add about a cup of the reserved mushroom cooking liquid. Stir. When the rice has absorbed that then add the remainder of the mushroom cooking liquid. Stir. Stir. Stir.
Each time the rice has absorbed almost all the liquid add some more. I have a 1/2 cup ladle so that’s how much stock I add at a time. Stir. Stir. Stir.
Rice cooks in 18 minutes, so do a taste test each time you add liquid. Add salt and/or pepper to taste. Stir. Stir. Stir. When your taste test reveals that the rice is almost done, add the mushrooms and cheese. Stir Stir. Stir.
Add additional salt and/or pepper if necessary. Place a spoonful of risotto on a plate or in a bowl. Garnish with a little parsley. Serve.