Last weekend I was visited by my mother for four days – yay! We had a lovely food-filled time that included Sprinkles Cupcakes, Pink’s Hot Dogs, Tender Greens, and plenty of So Cal sunshine…. Actually there was probably a little too much sunshine. It was over 100 degrees for two of the days she was here. Seriously. Now mom lives in Florida year round, so she’s used to some grotesque heat, but this was too much even for her. Luckily the first day she was here was a reasonable temperature so I was able to get some cooking in. I made a tray of those unbelievable brownies I posted about last month to take to a cookout at my dear friend Kristen’s house in Culver City. I also wanted to make dinner for mom – something special and classy, but still starving artist. I mean, we can’t exactly afford lobster and filet mignon. The first thing that came to mind was risotto. For those of you not familiar, risotto is an Italian dish that involves slow-cooking short grained rice on the stove top by slowly adding chicken stock. Finished with butter and cheese, it is decadent, delicious, and goes a long way. And while it is definitely not a weeknight meal (in price or in cooking time) it is certainly a classy and impressive dish that is well within the reach of the Starving Artist.
Now there are many many ways to make risotto, but I like to make mine with mushrooms… lots and lots of mushrooms. I’ve done a lot of searching for good risotto recipes and have decided that Anne Burrell’s Wild Mushroom Risotto is the best. Do yourself a favor and buy your chicken stock, wine, and arborio rice at Trader Joe’s – by far the best price for all of those items. Her recipe calls for two cups of white wine, but I find that to be way too much, so I just use a couple of glugs from the bottle. You of course should experiment and see what works for you. You’ll also notice I added peas to mine – I love the green. Just a cup of defrosted peas will do it. Delicious.
So, whether you’re looking to cook something special for mom or impress that new guy you’re dating, this recipe will surely fit the bill.