I was so excited while planning out this recipe. It’s the first time I am using blue cheese in my cooking. It is also the first time that I am cooking something with alcohol in it (What? I am way pass the legal age!)
Well, risotto is an Italian rice dish. It is usually made with a starchy variety of rice, which is cooked in a broth (either vegetable, fish or meat based) and one or more variety of cheese. Vegetables, meat and/or seafood are usually added to the dish to further diversify each recipe.
I have some black rice left with me and I will be leaving Delhi after a few weeks. So, I decided I should make something out of it.
I usually get my supply of these exotic ingredients from INA market. And I bought this packet of blue cheese (100g) just yesterday. I have eaten blue cheese in some of the dishes that I have tried in restaurants, but I have never come face to face with it before. It does have a pungent smell, but it isn’t as strong as the Manipuri ngaari or hawaizaar. I put my finger in it and scooped out a little portion and tasted it…hmmm I LIKE IT!
Here are the assortment of liquids that I will be using. They are just posing for a picture…nothing more to it. I decided to use cognac instead of wine for this recipe since I already had some cognac left. (Thanks for the Remy Martin, Tia!)
So, here’s a list of what you need for this recipe:
I know, my black rice isn’t that black. Maybe, the blackness of this black rice got husked away in the mill.
You will need to chop up the onion and the garlic really fine. Cut the shiitake mushrooms and remove the leaves of the thyme from the stem. If your mushrooms are the dried ones, soak them in water for a couple of hours to soften them.
Now, take a pan and heat 1 tbsp of olive oil. Gently toss in 3/4th of the garlic and fry them till they start turning brown.
Then add the onion and fry them till they soften.
Add the thyme and fry for about 1 minute.
Now, add the cognac and fry them till it evaporates completely.
Wash the rice and toss it in. Fry for a minute or so. This will allow the aroma of the garlic and cognac to get infused in the rice.
Add one and half cups of the chicken stock in it and bring it to a boil.
Keep monitoring it. Once the stock starts to dry up, add another cup of the stock and continue cooking. You can add salt at this point. Keep adding the stock cup by cup as it dries up, till the rice gets cooked.
Now add the cheese and mix them well.
You can now turn off the flame and add freshly grounded black pepper.
Now take another pan and heat 1 tbsp of olive oil. Toss in a couple of thyme sprigs and let its aroma get infused in the oil.
When the thyme starts to brown, add the remaining garlic and fry them till it starts turning brown.
Add the mushrooms and sprinkle a little bit of salt to taste.
Fry them till the mushrooms starts turning brown. Sprinkle some freshly ground black pepper and mix well.
Serve the risotto with the mushrooms on top. You can garnish it with thyme for presentation. Enjoy your meal!
Hindsight: Hmm…it tasted like a costly meal…..just an afterthought!