Rich, creamy Mushroom Parmesan Risotto is the perfect meal for a cold fall or winter night. While this is a meatless dish, the sauteed mushrooms deliver a perfectly meaty vegetable bite. I love to serve this with a side of roasted brussels sprouts or winter squash and a nice light green salad. While this is almost always a main dish meal in our house, it works as a side dish as well. Pair it with roasted chicken or pork and I’m sure everyone at your dinner table will beg for seconds.
Risotto is one of those recipes that can be a bit intimidating until you actually try to cook it. Once you’re making it, you realize it’s not that difficult to master. The finished product should be a creamy mixture surrounding just cooked “al dente” rice. The creaminess comes from slow cooking starchy rice so that it creates its own sauce. That might sound complicated, but the secret to good risotto is really just a bit of elbow grease. It requires frequent stirring. You stir while the rice absorbs the stock a bit at a time. The key is to keep things moving so the starchy rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan and scorch.
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Once you’ve stirred in a cup or two of stock, you’ll probably have the hang of the cooking method. Your job is really very simple — you just to make sure you keep things moving so nothing burns!
I prefer chicken stock for this recipe, but really any sort of stock will work. Homemade chicken stock obviously tastes the absolute best, but I rarely have any on hand. Storebought stock or stock made from bouillon will work perfectly well and you’ll end up with a perfectly delicious dish.
I want to end this recipe post with a final word about seasoning. Risotto is one of those dishes that can just seem like stodgy porridge if you don’t add enough seasoning. The good news is, you don’t need anything fancy, just salt and pepper! I always advise people to taste any dish for seasoning before they serve it, but it’s rarely more important to do so than it is with risotto. So before you serve, try a spoonful. If it’s bland, that’s a very easy fix, you simply need more salt and pepper! Just add a little at a time until you’re happy with the taste. Remember the goal when seasoning with salt is that your food should simply taste better, not salty.