Wild Mushroom and Scallop Risotto
A few years ago I was mulling over ideas of what to do for my anniversary. The norm was a fancy dinner somewhere on the town. However, feeling a need to keep things new and exciting I decided to make a nice romantic dinner at home and win a few “brownie points” in the process.
Once I decided that I wanted to cook at home, I started searching for the perfect recipe. Since Darcie loves mushrooms, I figured I’d start there. In addition to mushrooms, it had to have an aura of elegance (cooking with wine generally does that). Whatever I choose needed to appear complicated* (but secretly it wouldn’t be). Of course, it had to taste good. Finally, and most importantly, it had to be something that she would want me to make for her time and time again.
The perfect recipe turned out to be Wild Mushroom and Scallop Risotto.
With Mother’s day approaching, I asked Darcie what she wanted me to make for her Mother’s Day dinner. She gave me the “you don’t know” look. After playing the guessing game for the next few minutes, I gave up. Finally, she said, “THE risotto.” I should have known.
I got those “brownie points” and Darcie told me that its the best thing I ever made her. That makes this guy pretty happy.
This recipe will feed 4 as an entree or 8 as a side dish.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Scallops (amount will vary based on size but figure on 2 per person) — you can also use bay scallops if you wish
Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
1 Small Onion, minced
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
Assorted mushrooms (I get a pack of mixed mushrooms that contains oyster, portobello, crimini, shiitake)
2 Cups of Arborino Rice (found in the same aisle as other rices)
1/2 Cup of White Wine
6 Cups of Chicken Stock (homemade or store bought)
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano (or parmesan) cheese
In large, deep pan, drizzle olive oil and turn heat to medium-high heat. While oil is heating, sprinkle scallops with salt and pepper on both sides. When oil is hot, add scallops to pan and cook on both sides until nicely browned. When scallops are cooked, move to a plate and cover.
Meanwhile in medium sized pot, add the chicken stock to warm it. Once heated, lower the heat to keep the stock warm.
In the same pan, drizzle a little more olive oil. Add onion and garlic, stir until soft.
Add mushrooms and cook for 5-10 minutes until most of the moisture has been removed from the mushrooms and begin to turn lightly brown. Season with salt and pepper.
Add uncooked rice and stir for 1-2 minutes to coat the rice with the oil. Stir in wine and cook for 1-2 minutes to remove the alcohol.
Pour in 1 cup of chicken stock and stir until rice has absorbed all of the liquid. Continue this process 1 cup at a time, always waiting until the rice has absorbed the broth before adding more. Continue until the rice is cooked — should be just a tiny bit firm and creamy (its possible that you wont use all the stock).
When you add your last cup of broth, add the scallops to warm them through.
When rice is done, fold in the butter and cheese. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Serve hot.
*While this dish isn’t complicated, it is time consuming and your really can’t stray too far from the kitchen as there is a lot of stirring involved. However, I hope this doesn’t discourage you from giving it a try because it really is worth it.