The recipe is a little tricky, but the marmalade can be made in advance, so I recommend doing that so you can focus. But, I’ll try to break down the steps as simply as possible. If you take your time and don’t do two things at once, you will be fine.
The recipe also suggests making the marmalade to spread on bread or serve over polenta, which I think would be wonderful.
Like almost all of my recipes, this one comes from Food and Wine (best foodie magazine ever).
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 pound fresh porcini or stemmed shiitake mushrooms—1/2 pound cut into 1/2 -inch dice, 1/4 pound sliced 1/4 inch thick
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon water
3/4 cup dry red wine, such as Amarone
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
5 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, minced
1 cup arborio rice (6 ounces)
1/2 cup dry red wine, such as Amarone
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper
One 2-ounce piece Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for shaving
2 teaspoons chopped mixed herbs, such as chives, mint and tarragon
I used cremini mushrooms instead and it worked out fine. I have read that you are not supposed to wash mushrooms before cooking them as it throws their water content off, so I didn’t. I just wiped the dirt off with paper towels, which took forever, but I think it made a difference. They didn’t give off as much water and retained their shape a little better.
I think if you were planning this as a main course, I would recommend using a meatier mushroom like cremini or portabella (or a mix of them with the more delicate kind), and perhaps doubling the amount of marmalade.
For the wine, I used a zinfandel blend. Apparently Amarone is a peppery, fruity wine, so I figured zinfandel would be a good bet. I found a lovely bottle from one of my favorite Napa vineyards at Trader Joes for $15. If you can find this wine, I highly recommend it – for cooking, drinking, bathing in, whatever. It is fantastic and at $15, a total steal.
In a large, nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil. Add the diced mushrooms; season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over moderate heat until tender, 5 minutes.
Uncover and cook, stirring, until browned. I took them off the stove after about a minute. Transfer the mushrooms to a plate.
In the same skillet, heat another 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the shallot and garlic and cook over low heat until softened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked mushrooms.
In a small saucepan, simmer the sugar and water over moderate heat, washing down the side of the pan with a wet pastry brush, until amber, 6 minutes.
Add the wine and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Add the vinegar and boil over high heat until reduced by half. The recipe says this will take about 12 minutes, but I found it took only about 8. Just keep an eye on it. It will turn from liquid to syrup fast and you want to catch it right when it turns to syrup. The consistency was very thick and when it cooled, it stuck to my wooden spoon like candy. So, work quickly.
Stir the mixture into the skillet and cook over moderate heat until the mushrooms are glazed, 3 minutes. Season with salt. Take it off the heat and cover.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. The recipe says to use a clean skillet, but I didn’t feel like washing another pot, so I just used the pan that the wine syrup was in. I figured this way I could soak up the last of the wine syrup goodness. I didn’t have an problems doing this.
Add the sliced mushrooms, season with salt and cook over moderate heat until tender and lightly browned, about 8 minutes.
Stir the mushrooms into the marmalade, and swirl in the butter. There is a lot of liquid in the pan at this point, but some will evaporate out, and some will re-absorb into the mushrooms.
And voila! Mushroom marmalade! At this point, I covered the pan, removed it from the heat and placed it on a rack. I started cooking the risotto an hour or so later. As soon as the risotto was done, I put the mushrooms back on the stove over medium heat and slowly warmed them up. It took about 2 minutes.
In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a simmer; cover and keep warm over low heat.
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice and cook for 2 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until almost evaporated.
Pour in about 1 cup of the hot stock, or enough to cover the rice. Cook, stirring constantly, until the stock has been absorbed, about 5 minutes. Repeat, adding 1 cup of stock at a time and stirring until all of the stock has been absorbed. The risotto is done when the rice is just cooked and suspended in the creamy sauce, about 25 minutes. You may not need all 5 cups of liquid. Once you’ve got 4 cups in, start tasting it. You want the rice soft, but not mushy. I only used about 4 and a half cups of liquid, so add that last cup very, very slowly.
Stir in the butter and season with salt and pepper.
The recipe suggests shaving parmigiano-reggiano over the top of the risotto, but I went with the traditional route of mixing the grated cheese into the risotto right after adding the butter.
Garnish with the herbs (which I forgot to do) and enjoy your amazing restaurant quality dish.