Risotto "Light" Con Porcini Secchi.

This is the second time I make a risotto in my life. The first was about 30 years ago and it was a disaster. Since then I never ate it even in Italian restaurants. This time my risotto with dried Porcini mushrooms was a masterpiece! (At least Maria and I thought so!). Here's what happened while we enjoyed some 1998 Cabernet Reserve...

Apart from the wine which you will choose to your liking please note the ingredients:
Serves 6 normal portion as a starter, 3 portions for big eaters!

  • 500 gr Arborio or Carolina rice (for Greeks).
  • 50 gr dried Porcini mushrooms soaked in 150 ml boiling water and cooked for about 5 minutes.
Note:  100 gr of fresh Porcini  are equivalent to 10 gr of the dried ones.
  • 1½ liters boiling chicken broth.
  • 1 medium onion chopped.
  • 3 cloves finely chopped garlic.
  • ½ bunch finely chopped parsley.
  • ½ cup olive oil.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Preparation of the mushrooms:

  • Heat ¼ cup of oil in a pan.
  • Stir fry the garlic for about 1 minute on medium heat.
  • With a pair of tongs take out the Porcini mushrooms from the boiling water and add to the pan with the garlic.
  • Strain the water through a very tight strainer (strainer with small holes)to take away the sand, if any.
  • Add the Porcini juice to the broth which will take a dark tan color.
  • Stir fry the Porcini with the garlic for 1 minute or so.
  • Add the finely chopped parsley. Stir and set aside.
Preparation of the risotto:

  • Heat the other ¼ cup olive oil in a casserole and stir fry the onions till they are transparent.
  • Add the rice and stir fry together with the onion for about 1 to 2 minutes till the rice is fully covered with the oil / onion mixture. Make sure the rice does not stick to the bottom of the casserole. 

Tip: Place the casserole with the rice / onion fry on the burner right in front of you then place the boiling broth mixture on the burner right behind the rice / onion casserole. This will make it easy for you to ladle the broth onto the rice.
  • Set your timer to 20 minutes.
  • Start adding ladle at a time of boiling broth / Porcini juice mixture to the rice.
  • Keep the heat on medium. Keep stirring, never stopping, until the rice has absorbed all the broth. 
  • Add another ladle and stir till the rice absorbs all the broth.
  • Repeat until all the broth is finished. 
Note:  5 minutes before the end of your time add the already prepared mushrooms to the rice and mix.
  • Continue to ladle the broth until is finished.
  • Check the rice for done-ness. It should be ready when the time is up, if not continue stirring until it is done. Make sure it does not stick to the bottom.
  • The time taken for the risotto to be ready may take more than twenty minutes. 
  • Make sure all the broth is absorbed, and the rice is cooked. If for some reason the rice is not yet ready ladle some plain boiling water.
  • The outcome should be moist but cooked rice.

Note: Vegetarians may use vegetable broth instead of chicken. I used chicken be
cause I happened to have some in the fridge. The "light" part of this dish is that there is no addition of any grated cheese (Parmesan, Pecorino or any other) at all.

Wish you luck,


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