Regular Nights at Home [wild mushroom risotto]

I love that the words regular and wild are occupying the same title space up there.

I’m someone who always focuses her energy on the routine, the seemingly (to some) mundane, and the little habits that make up our lives.  I’ve been thinking a lot about regular nights at home lately.  Having not had any for a year of construction, I appreciate them so much now.  Rare is the night that I get to spend coming home with nothing on the agenda but cooking dinner and catching up on DVR-ed Food Network and Jeopardy with my husband.

Yes, we are so old, we now watch Jeopardy every night.  And dear readers, I love it.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

These regular nights are everything.  They’re what I thrive on.  I have long agonized about whether I’m an introvert or an extrovert, and though I think feeding off the energy of others earns me that Meyers Briggs, “E,” I have some serious “I” tendencies.  Regular nights at home fuel them.

mushroom risotto.

While catching up on my backlog of Barefoot Contessa episodes, I saw her make wild mushroom risotto, and put my own spin on it with what we had in our pantry.*  The plan was to share it with The (Not So) New Girl, but she ended up enjoying a regular night at home with her new little boy, and I couldn’t be happier for her.

To make mushroom risotto for four, you will need:

  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 8 oz. button or crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 8 oz. shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 1/2 C barley (risotto is usually made with Arborio rice, but I didn’t have any)
  • 1/2 C white wine
  • 4 C chicken broth
  • 1/2 C shredded or grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the olive oil and butter in a Dutch oven, or heavy bottomed pan, on the stove till butter is melted.  Add onion and cook till soft, 5 minutes.  Add mushrooms and cook another 5-7 minutes, till mushrooms are cooked through.  Add barley and stir to coat with oil and butter.  Pour wine into pan and scrape brown bits off the bottom.  When wine has mostly evaporated, begin adding chicken broth by the ladle-full.  As broth cooks off, add ladle after ladle, until barley is fully cooked.  Dump in cheese, and stir till melted. Serve hot.

*I have a storied history with risotto.  In short, I love it more than anything.  Here are some of my previous risotto endeavors:  baked corn risotto, pesto risotto, spinach and sun dried tomato risotto, champagne risotto, tomato and sausage risotto

6 thoughts on “Regular Nights at Home [wild mushroom risotto]

  1. 1. I have always watched jeopardy every night, and I’m AGOMYR, so there’s that.
    2. Thanks to Buzzfeed I’m pretty sure everyone now considers themselves an introverted extrovert. Buzzfeed is basically the new Myers Briggs, so.
    3. I am making butternut squash risotto tomorrow. I was on the fence but now I am firmly footed in the risotto side.

    • Chicken would be my go to, but now I’m wondering if shrooms + beef (cut in cubes) would also work. Sausage wouldn’t be bad either. Either brown it first, with the onions, and just keep going, or brown it in a separate pan and add it at the end.

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