Fresh Mushroom Risotto
Pasta & Side Dishes
The trio of shiitake mushrooms, cognac, and cream creates a symphony of flavors. You’ll need a fine cognac, or another good-quality brandy, to get the full effect. Serve this elegant dish as a first course before an entrée of pan-broiled fillet of beef.
Heat the butter in a skillet over moderate heat. When it begins to foam, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Turn the heat to high, add the cognac, and cook until it is reduced by half. Lower heat, add the cream, and continue cooking, for about 5 minutes longer, until the cream has reduced slightly and thickened. Turn off the heat and set aside.
Bring the broth to a steady simmer in a saucepan on top of the stove.
Heat the butter and oil in a heavy 4-quart casserole over moderate heat. Add the shallots and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, until it begins to soften, being careful not to brown it.
Combine & Serve
Add the rice to the soffritto; using a wooden spoon, stir for 1 minute, making sure all the grains are well coated. Begin to add the simmering broth, 1/2 cup at a time. Wait until each addition is almost completely absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup. Stir frequently to prevent sticking.
After approximately 18 minutes, when the rice is tender but still firm, add the condimenti – the mushroom-cognac-cream mixture, Parmesan, and parsley – and stir vigorously to combine with the rice. Serve immediately.