01 Aug2007


With the chanterelle mushrooms in the fridge, I did a quick check of the pantry and found good Arborio rice, lots of canned beef broth, sufficient stocks of dried porcini mushrooms along with powdered porcini broth brought back from Italy last year (but a version is actually sold at Rustan’s Rockwell), a nice wedge of Parmesan vacuum wrapped and stored chant5in the freezer (yes, you can freeze it to make it last longer), some onions and we are cooking. Sorry, no measurements on this post as I tend to do risotto by feel now… I first soaked some dried porcinis in hot water for about 10 minutes then drained and chopped the mushrooms. But DO NOT throw out the soaking water, rather, drain it through a paper towel on a small sieve and save the water brown flavorful water. Next, I made sure my chanterelles were brushed clean and sliced into smaller pieces. In a heavy enameled pot, add some butter and saute the two kinds of mushrooms until just cooked and highly fragrant, season with a touch of salt and pepper and set the mushrooms aside on a plate. In the same pot, I don’t bother to change, just more stuff to wash, add some olive oil and a little butter and saute some chopped onion, and once a bit translucent, add arborio rice, I used two or three cups for this recipe. Mix the rice until coated with oils and onions, then add HEATED beef broth mixed with water about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring fairly constantly. Do not add water too fast, just until the last ladle is fully absorbed. Add in the mushroom water and additional mushroom broth if chant4you like. Do this for about 15 minutes until the rice is al dente but still too hard to eat. Add the sauteed mushrooms (you can leave a few out to put on top of the finished dish as a garnish) and cook about 5-8 minutes longer (total cooking time, depending on your heat levels and volume of rice is about 25+ minutes. When almost finished, add a tablespoon or two of butter, turn off the heat and continue to stir to incorporate the butter. Serve hot and immediately and sprinkle with lots of parmesan. Utterly sublime. This is one of my favorite foods and it is actually quite easy to make contrary to what most folks think. I actually souffles and risotto get a bad rap for supposed difficulty but they are really quite easy to do.


Along with the risotto, which is usually served by itself, the pinoy influence is to serve a meat, and in our case we ate them at the same time. Instead of a traditional veal milanese, I spied some good pork chops in our freezers and defrosted them and smashed them until very thin and flat. Next I dipped them in flour, then lightly beaten egg and some Japanese breadcrumbs and fried them until just cooked in butter and oil. Ideally, you should use clarified butter to prevent some of the unsightly burns I got on the crust of the meat. I served this with a small green salad on top and together with the risotto this was a relatively quick and highly satisfying dinner. The chanterelles and porcini in the risotto, together with porcini stock, beef broth, butter and cheese SCREAMED “I don’t give a damn if I am eating incredibly luscious and rich tasting food,” and the crisp crust of the Pork Milanese was a very good stand in for the traditional veal used in this dish. Let’s not even begin to think of calories here… And wait for dessert… :) Hungry yet?



  1. Myra P. says:

    MM, I make my mushroom risotto exactly the way you do with dried porcini, but Ive developed my Salcedo Market version — the mixed Kalinga rice from George and fresh portobello mushrooms at the big vegetable stall beside the park (when they have it). It takes a bit more time with the mountain rice, but it is pretty to look at and has a very nice nutty flavor. I add the sliced portobellos later in the cooking so it doesnt overcook and stays firm. This is a great local alternative :)

    Aug 1, 2007 | 11:55 am


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  3. Maria Clara says:

    Good combo mushroom risotto and pork Milanese – the al dente rice and the texture of the pan fried pork. How come you did use white wine in your risotto? A chef friend told me that some Italian restos use pork butt for their veal Milanese and pound it with a meat mallet. He further told this practice has been going on for years.

    Aug 1, 2007 | 12:07 pm

  4. Carlo says:

    MM, I agree with you that risotto is not that difficult at all to cook as many people believe. All it takes is some patience and a lot of stirring. I noticed that you didn’t add any wine before adding the stock like in many risotto recipes. Do you think this would make a huge difference in the final product?

    Aug 1, 2007 | 12:08 pm

  5. capybara phlox bristol says:

    When I lived abroad for a month, the one dish I learned to cook was risotto, for two reasons: (1) I love risotto, and (2) it’s easy to make even for non-cooks like me.

    You’ve inspired me to go hunt for some Arborio. I’m pretty sure I can still make this stuff. Mmm.

    Aug 1, 2007 | 12:14 pm

  6. Blaise Fortuna says:

    You had me salivating.. Yum.. ;P

    Aug 1, 2007 | 12:23 pm

  7. nang says:

    my brother, who is the real cook in the family, would make mushroom risotto with arborio, dried porcini and truffle oil. our kids would lap it up like there was no tomorrow and he has to make several batches just to satisfy everyone. he gets a real workout from the constant stirring of the pot!

    Aug 1, 2007 | 1:10 pm

  8. nang says:

    by the way, my part in the whole process is to simply ladle in the broth. and eat, of course.

    Aug 1, 2007 | 1:12 pm

  9. Alicia says:

    I was thinking risotto when I saw the chanterelles! Mushroom risotto is always my fallback recipe when I buy assorted mushrooms and don’t know what to do with them. The comment by Myra, about the addition of Kalinga rice, sounds quite interesting. I might have to try that too. Pork Milanese. Now I have been asling myself why did I never think of doing that since its not easy to find veal scallopine here! (I find the slices to small in santis) Great idea, I guess whenever I think of breaded pork it turns into tonkatsu! Will try it.. with some chopped tomatoes, arugula and lemon juice too! Thanks for inspiring tonight’s dinner!

    Aug 1, 2007 | 1:24 pm

  10. Marketman says:

    Myra P., that sounds delicious, I love it when a basic technique and style of cooking is applied across a new set of ingredients…always seems to yield something good…MC and Carlo, yes wine is a very good addition, it adds a depth of flavor. But in my mushroom risotto, it so jampacked with flavor from the porcini broth, beef broth, mushrooms, etc. that wine is optional… and I didn’t have any that night… :) capybara, several groceries now carry arborio, or use carnaoli or violano nano(?, there are really 3 options for risotto… nang, I agree, many kids don’t like the texture of cooked mushrooms, but in risotto, down the hatch it goes…

    Aug 1, 2007 | 1:28 pm

  11. Mila says:

    I made a 3 mushroom risotto for christmas dinner in hong kong last december. It is really an easy dish so long as you have the right ingredients. Filling and marvelously tasty.
    There’s a good restaurant in Angeles that does a sublime risotto with mushrooms, pancetta, clams, saffron, shrimp, and roast pumpkin. The colors are divine, and the flavors sublime. Each bite was a breakthrough, and difficult to get bored.

    Aug 1, 2007 | 3:03 pm

  12. joey says:

    I am so hungry now it’s indecent :( That looks gorgeous MM! I have carnaoli and dried porcinis in the pantry, mushroom and chicken stock in the freezer…all that’s missing is the fresh mushrooms! I went to Santi’s right after reading your post on the chanterelles (I know, exag, but I can’t help these reactions). They didnt have any anymore…they had portabellos and button but I’m holding out for those chanterelles again :)

    Aug 1, 2007 | 4:58 pm

  13. Jade186 says:

    Little trivia: did you know that there is still an ongoing debate as to whether the cotoletta alla Milanese had its origins from the Wiener schnitzel (Vienna cutlets) or vice versa?
    The Austrians claim that it’s theirs, since Lombardy was once under the Hapsburg Empire and had greatly influenced northern Italian culture. The Italians however, being the known gastronomes, affirm that Austrians were the ones who copied it.
    What’s your guess? :)

    Aug 1, 2007 | 6:05 pm

  14. Marketman says:

    Jade186, I would definitely have to hand that to the Austrians… I spent 3 days in Vienna once and I had enough schnitzel to last me a decade… :) But their pastries, sublime!

    Aug 1, 2007 | 6:26 pm

  15. veron says:

    Oh wow, chanterelles and porcini in risotto. This is simply fantastic. Yeh, I don’t care if it screams rich and creamy all it looks to me is yummy!

    Aug 1, 2007 | 11:37 pm

  16. RGM says:


    I have a question. I tried to make Risotto with Porcini mushrooms. However, it took 50 minutes for the rice to be al dente! I don’t know why this is! Is the heat of the pan too hot? (thus evaporating too much liquid, leaving the rice with little to cook with?) Is it because I didn’t keep my stock heated (it seems to be important, why is that?). I’m cooking risotto this weekend, and I’m desperate. Although the risotto was fine after 50 MINUTES, I don’t want to stir over a hot stove for such a long time. Please help a struggling home cook. :)

    Aug 2, 2007 | 2:15 am

  17. Marketman says:

    RGM, 50 minutes is a bit too long. Here are some tips that will help the next time you make it.

    1. Check that your arborio, carnaoli or vialano nano rice is fresh and not expired. Older rice, poorer results.

    2. Use a heavy enamel coated pot such as a Le Cresuet or other brand, but a light aluminum pot is less desirable.

    3. You must use a medium heat, not too hot to steam off the liquid immediately, but not too low that it takes too long to cook.

    4. The stock you use MUST be heated up to just below the boiling point. I repeat, the stock MUST be heated up. I think this was the main issue with your 50 minute attempt. If the stock is cool or cold, then the rice will take much longer to cook and it will ave difficulty absorbing the stock. I keep the stock in a pot hot on the next burner at the stove so I ladle directly from the pot of stock to the pot with the rice. Check your preferred recipe for proportion of stock to dry rice… prepare a little extra stock in case you need it, based on the feel of the dish…

    5. Contrary to popular lore, you don’t need to stir risotto CONSTANTLY. Particularly in the early stages, I often rest but I make sure that the rice does not stick to the sides or bottom of the pan.

    6. Also, the rice continues to cook a bit once you take it off the heat, so remove it a little al dente, and don’t forget the butter to silken it up a bit.

    7. Max cooking time in my experience is 30 minutes.

    8. Cheese should only be added when the rice is off the heat, typically at the table if you serve it immediately. But some folks add it in the last few seconds of cooking.

    9. Some folks like their risotto a little soupy or creamier than the one in the photo here… the one in the photo is a bit dryish by the time I took the photo.

    Good luck with the weekend attempt, and let me know if it still doesn’t work…


    Aug 2, 2007 | 7:09 am

  18. connie says:

    RGM, if I may, when cooking risotto, if you are adding the stock make sure it is hot to keep the temperature of the risotto the same. Add the stock slowly, laddle it in if you must but make sure your stock is hot, otherwise you are bringing the temperature down each time you add the stock thus making the cooking longer.

    A friend just bakes hers and places everything in the oven, no laddling, no stirring needed. If it is still watery in the end she just cooks it on the stove top on low heat.

    Aug 2, 2007 | 7:20 am

  19. RGM says:

    MM, Connie,

    Thanks so much for the advice. I guess heating is a MUST. Hahaha. Now I know where I went wrong! I’ll definitely let you know what happens. :D

    Aug 2, 2007 | 3:37 pm

  20. Marghi says:

    Just to let you know , I was successful with bringing fresh porcinis back last month…just bought them at Campo dei Fiori in Rome at 6 am, loaded them on a create packed with some paper, together with 2 crates of pachino tomatoes, red and yellow capsicums nearly aten inches long and maybe ten inches in circomference, Italian garlis, fennel, rughetta and my favorite late spring green egretti…..off to the airport at 8, had the crates wrapped at the Rome airport at that machine that cling wraps your busted luggage etc…and took off with the produce and my luggage at noon straight to Manila…the even bigger thrill was unpacking my “gold” at the Pepato kitchen when I arrived….seeing my porcini only slightly moist was the biggest HIGH in the world!!!!! Too bad I could bring in the mushrooms 2 times more after, since the heat in Italy shortened the season…thanks to my resourceful Filipina friends in Rome who run a brokerage business and travel agency for our hero Filipino brothers in Italy for allowing me to bring little parts of Italy to our shores when they can….by the way MM, that shipment was partly served at the “shool board” dinner…

    Aug 7, 2007 | 3:21 am

  21. Joyce T. Cornel says:

    Help! I’m just a month here in the US and my sister craves for Ma Chang, the dimsum rice wrapped in leaves. She asked me to make one for her. Though we have some filipino-chinese recipe books here, none of them has the recipe for ma chang. I hope you can help me out with the recipe. Please send it through my email address written above. Thanks.

    Aug 23, 2007 | 9:39 pm

  22. Marketman says:

    Joyce, sorry, I have no idea how to make Ma Chang.

    Aug 24, 2007 | 4:51 am

  23. em says:

    where can one buy arborio rice?

    Nov 9, 2008 | 10:58 pm

  24. Marketman says:

    em, they have arborio at Santis delicatessen, Terry’s delicatessen, Galileo Enoteca, Rustan’s and other large groceries.

    Nov 10, 2008 | 6:28 am


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