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 in 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 you 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?