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Porcini (or Shrimp) Risotto



1 1/2 cups carnaroli rice

4 cups vegetable stock

1/2 cup SIMI Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

1/2 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup butter

1/2 lb of either Porcinis, cut into 1/4" dice OR prawns

Kosher salt, to taste

Pickled Porcinis for Garnish

1/2 lb Porcinis, cut in half

1 1/4 cups water

3/8 cup rice wine vinegar

3 1/2 tsps salt

4 1/4 tsps sugar

1 tbsp black peppercorns

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tsps mustard seed

1 sprig Thyme

2 tsps coriander seed


Risotto Preparation:

Heat the stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan, then lower the heat so that the stock just stays hot.

In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chopped shallot or onion. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until it is slightly translucent. Add the rice to the pot and stir with a wooden spoon so that the grains are coated with the oil. Sauté for another minute or so, until there is a slightly nutty aroma. But don't let the rice turn brown.

Add the wine and cook while stirring, until the liquid is fully absorbed. Add a ladle of hot stock to the rice and stir until the liquid is fully absorbed. When the rice appears almost dry, add another ladle of stock and repeat the process.

It's important to stir constantly, especially while the hot stock gets absorbed, to prevent scorching, and add the next ladle as soon as the rice is almost dry. Continue adding ladles of hot stock and stirring the rice while the liquid is absorbed. As it cooks, you'll see that the rice will take on a creamy consistency as it begins to release its natural starches. Continue adding stock, a ladle at a time, for 20-30 minutes or until the grains are tender but still firm to the bite, without being crunchy. If you run out of stock and the risotto still isn't done, you can finish the cooking using hot water. Just add the water as you did with the stock, a ladle at a time, stirring while it's absorbed.

While risotto is cooking, sauté diced porcinis in butter till tender and season. Add to cooking risotto.

When rice is finished stir in the remaining butter, the parmesan cheese and season to taste with Kosher salt. It should have a saucy consistency.

Pickled Porcini

Bring water, rice wine vinegar, salt, sugar, peppercorns, garlic, thyme, mustard seeds and coriander seeds to a boil. Add porcinis and blanch for 1 minute. Turn off heat and let cool in liquid. Can be keep in refrigerator for 2 weeks.

To Serve

Spoon risotto into shallow bowls. Slice some pickled porcinis paper thin and garnesh the risotto. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle more parmesan cheese on top. For porcini risotto, pair with SIMI Reserve Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. If you substitute the porcinis with prawns, pair with SIMI Alexander Valley Chardonnay.

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