Some recipes can't be altered and others can be changed to suit the ingredients you have at the time. This is one of those recipes, change it up if you need to, perhaps the kids hate mushrooms, cool, use chicken or bacon, or zucchini or eggplant or seafood or whatever, whatever... or nothing extra, plain old risotto is beautiful too! If you don't have a celery stick, cut up stalks of broccoli or zucchini..play around with it, that's how I cook!
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
3/4 cup white wine
350 gms mixed mushrooms, Asian style, enoki, oyster, shitake, button, porcini, etc.
3 cups boiling water (approx. this can vary)
1 1/2 stock cubes, chicken by massel is my fav
3/4 cup grated parmesan or grana padano (use strong cheddar if you don't have)
salt and pepper to taste
You can add baby spinach for serving and also optional sweet potato chips, you can make or use crisps (from a bag of sweet potato chips) and finish with extra virgin olive oil and if you like a little bit of sweetness, fig glaze or caramelized balsamic, again optional.
Gently heat some olive oil in a large frying pan, add the onion, celery, and carrot and fry gently until the onion turns opaque.
Add the arborio rice and stir to soak in a little of the oil from the pan
Add the wine and let it soak into the rice whilst stirring
Add the mushrooms and fry for a couple of minutes
Add one cup of boiling water and stir
Add the stock cube and stir whilst the water is evaporating
Keep adding the
water approx 1/2 cup at a time until the rice is cooked through and soft, add salt and pepper to taste.
After about 20 minutes of adding water and stirring the rice will become quite soft, much softer than normal white rice when cooked, add a little more water and then add the grated cheese and stir to combine well, add more water if necessary to keep the rice from drying out, it should be served quite soft and have a thick texture like rice pudding. You'll find it in restaurants served anything from moist rice to soupy..it's your choice.
Place spinach leaves in a serving dish or in bowls, top with the risotto, add the sweet potato chips or crisps if using, and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic/glaze if using.
Mums and Dads, this is great with a glass of Pinot Gris, you deserve it!