This recipe is one that I originally posted in 2009, but at the time I didn’t have a photo of the finished dish. (And I probably didn’t have very many blog readers back then either, but we won’t talk about that).

After making the risotto for a friend’s birthday last week and everyone going nuts over it, I figured I should put it out there again and stress to you how absolutely amazing it is. It really is, honest-to-goodness, one of the 5 best recipes in my arsenal, and I truly don’t think it has ever gotten the attention it deserves. Perhaps because I didn’t have a photo? (or perhaps because I only had about 50 people reading my blog back in 2009?)

Whatever the reason, it’s a shame, because this risotto deserves the attention of hundreds. Thousands. It’s a star, so I’m doing my part to give it the spotlight it deserves by re-posting my blog post and adding a photo.

Now it’s your turn. Do yourself, your friends, and/or your family a favor and make this!!!

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Original Post from October 12, 2009:

Today is your lucky day. I’m handing over to you my secret weapon, my signature dish, the dish I use to impress when guests are coming for dinner. It really is just as good (or better) than any restaurant risotto you’ll ever have. The rich and creamy taste fools everyone into thinking it’s loaded with cream, yet there is none!

Good risotto takes time and energy- it’s a bit of arm work, that’s for sure. Stirring, adding, stirring, adding, on and on and on. But believe me, all the effort pays off because this dish will blow away your guests.  And it only takes one hand to do the stirring, so the free hand can be used to enjoy a nice glass of wine while you slave away! 

Creamy Mushroom Risotto

6-8 side dish servings or 4 main dish servings. Adapted from Gourmet Mushroom Risotto on Allrecipes.com

Ingredients:

6 cups chicken broth, divided
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
12-16 oz mushrooms, thinly sliced (mix of any or all of the following: baby bellas, cremini, shiitake, white button)
2 shallots, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 Tbsp finely chopped chives
3 Tbsp of butter
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

In a saucepan, warm the broth over low heat.

Warm 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the mushrooms, and cook until soft, about 6-8 minutes. Remove mushrooms and their liquid, and set aside. (Leave the burner on medium-high heat for next step)

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the large saucepan, and stir in the shallots and garlic. Cook 1-2 minutes. Add rice, stirring to coat with oil, about 2 minutes. When the rice has taken on a pale, golden color, pour in wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed. Add 1/2 cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 35-40 minutes*. (It is very important that the simmering broth is added little by little, cooked and stirred until it's absorbed, then repeated, 1/2 cup by 1/2 cup of broth, until the risotto is tender and the broth is absorbed. This allows the starches to break down, resulting in a creamy risotto).

Once all of the broth is absorbed, remove from heat, and stir in mushrooms with their liquid, butter, chives, and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately for best results.

*Try to find the perfect balance for the heat. Not enough heat and it will take a very long time for the liquid to absorb, but too hot and you'll have rice sticking to the bottom of the pan.