My daughter having a wheat allergy is always grateful for rice recipes now she can’t eat pasta or most noodles.Of course we all know that rice is so versatile and healthy ,I think it is very underrated and should be used more often in every day life.One of my favourite recipes is a mushroom risotto.Of course they come out different every time and I love mine ending up with a nice portion of the creamy stock left in the risotto and not too dry.Just recently I have gone back to using ingredients that my mother and grandmother used to use and I have rediscovered pearl barley.In the mushroom risotto recipe below try using pearl barley instead of rice…Just superb
This is a lovely starter and using dried porcini mushrooms gives the dish a more intense flavour.The risotto looks beautiful when served in a deep old fashioned soup bowl.
serves 4 (or 2 hungry people)
25g/1oz dried porcini mushrooms
1litre /2pints chicken stock
50g/2oz shallots or onions finely chopped
225g/8oz mixed fresh mushrooms roughly chopped
275g/10oz arborio rice
4 tbs white wine
50g/2oz freshly grated parmesan
salt and pepper.
Cover the dried mushrooms with half the chicken stock and allow to soak for 30 minutes.
Strain the liquid through a sieve back into the remainder of the chicken stock.Pick out the mushrooms and roughly chop them.
Heat 50g/2oz of the butter,add the shallots or onions and cook without colouring.Add the mushrooms and rice and stir to mix.
Add the wine and a ladleful of stock.
Cook very gently over a low heat,gradually adding more stock,ladle by ladle,so that each addition of stock is absorbed before adding more.
The risotto should retain a slight bite to each grain of rice ,but at the same time have a creamy texture.
Once cooked,mix in the in butter,the grated parmesan and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
If very health conscious like me you can replace the butter at the start with olive oil and leave out the butter towards the end of the dish.