Wild Mushroom Risotto with Peas, Shrimp & Parmesan

This week really feels like Christmas; the sky is cloudy, the air is chilly and the world seems to be on vacation. Since it seemed like a cold weather day - despite the fact that it's only 50 degrees outside – I wanted to make something really warm and "stick to your ribs" delicious for dinner. After perusing through some of my favorite cookbooks, I settled on a recipe from Giada de Laurentiis' Everyday Italian cookbook: Wild Mushroom Risotto with Peas & Parmesan Cheese. But as I always do, I put my own spin on it, modifying her amounts and adding shrimp and truffle oil.

As any good risotto takes a long time to make, it took over an hour from start to finish. But wow, was it worth it. Here's what I did:
  • 5 3/4 cups canned low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 10 ounces white mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled, de-veined and cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley plus 2 teaspoons
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Bring the broth to a simmer in a heavy, medium-size saucepan. Add the dried porcini mushrooms. Cover and set aside until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the mushrooms and finely chop. Cover the broth and keep warm over very low heat.

Melt the butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 8 minutes.

Add the white mushrooms, porcini mushrooms, and garlic; saute until the mushrooms are tender and the juices evaporate, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the rice. Add the wine; cook, stirring often, until the liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of hot broth; simmer over medium-low heat, stirring often until the liquid is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook until the rice is just tender and the mixture is creamy, adding more broth by cupfuls and stirring often, about 28 minutes total. (I found it was best to separate cupfuls by about 3-5 minutes each).

Stir in the peas. Mix in the shrimp and let cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the shrimp turns pink and is fully cooked through. Mix in the Parmesan cheese and 1/3 cup flat leaf parsley.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. For an added kick, drizzle the top of the risotto with truffle oil. Garnish with 1 teaspoon chopped flat leaf parsley and grated Parmesan.

The risotto was fantastic. If you want more of a strong mushroom taste, I'd substitute 1/2 some of the white button mushrooms for cremini or baby portobellos. Bryan and I have a ton leftover for tomorrow's lunch, and I really believe it will taste even better when the flavors have some time to come together overnight. I've already got my wheels turning about making a short rib risotto with beef stock, leftover short ribs and mushrooms...mmm...

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