Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Roasted Chanterelle Mushroom Risotto - My Family's Favorite Vegetarian Dish For Christmas! Plus A Recipe For Vegan Parmesan.

Chanterelle mushrooms have a rich, meaty flavor.

Roast chanterelles with shallots and thyme.

Nutritional yeast, garlic, salt and parsley for a vegan parmesan.

A Special Holiday DIsh
I made this dish last night for an early Christmas celebration with friends. After watching me stir this constantly for 40 minutes, my girlfriend said, "no wonder no one every makes this!"
So beware! Unlike most of my recipes that are simple and quick, this dish takes work but it's worth every minute and is one of my family's very favorite meals.
If you are making this for the holidays, make sure you've got help with the other dishes or someone there to help stir or remind you to add broth. My good friend and ex-next door neighbor LIsa and I always made this dish together. It made the stirring more fun - lots of time to chat and sip some wine!

This golden, wild mushroom is a chef's dream. Their rich, meaty flavor makes them perfect for a vegan or vegetarian meal. They are very pricey (I paid around $20 a pound yesterday but a few weeks ago they were on sale for $15 a pound) but they are worth every penny and it only takes a half pound in this recipe to serve 5 to 6 people.

Timing is Everything
I'm kind of a nazi when it comes to serving risotto. It must be eaten the minute it is ready! So if you are serving a soup or salad with dinner, it must either be served with the risotto or after it. You can't make it and let the risotto sit on the stove. It should be served "tender to bite".

Can Risotto be Vegan?
Risotto is often made with lots of butter and sometimes cream. It also is usually finished with more butter and a good parmesan cheese. Chicken broth is often used for the stock. Vegetarians can just substitute veggie broth and they are good to go. To make it vegan, I cook it with extra virgin olive oil and Earth Balance vegan buttery spread.
Parmesan is difficult to replace but my daughter-in-law, Karina, uses a combination of vegetarian nutritional yeast, garlic powder, sea salt and dried parsley flakes. I tried this last night and it was wonderful.

If I haven't scared you off with the price of the chanterelles and the difficulty and critical timing of the dish, here's the recipe. Trust me, it's worth the time and trouble!

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Roasted Chanterelle Mushroom Risotto
[makes 6 servings]
For the roasted chanterelles (make ahead)
1 tablespoon vegan buttery spread
8 ounces rinsed chanterelle mushrooms, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 peeled shallot, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the risotto
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, peeled, cut in half and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
6 cups veggie broth
1 tablespoon vegan buttery spread
Vegan parmesan to taste (vegetarians: 1/4 cup parmesan cheese)
For the vegan parmesan
4 tablespoons vegetarian nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes, crumbled

To prepare the roasted chanterelles, you'll need a large roasting pan, at least 9 by 13 inches.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cover the bottom of the roasting pan with 1 tablespoon of buttery spread.
Add the chanterelle mushrooms, sliced shallots, olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper and mix together well.
Roast in the oven for 15 to 17 minutes, stirring once, until they are tender.
Remove from oven and set aside. These can be made earlier in the day.
To make the risotto, you'll need a large 12 inch frying pan with at least 3 inch sides.
Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a medium heated pan.
Stir in onions, garlic, salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft and a bit brown (10 to 15 minutes).
While the onions are cooking, heat broth in a small pot and keep warm on a low burner.
Add the arborio rice to the cooked onions (in the large frying pan) and stir continually for 3 minutes or until the rice is opaque.
Add the wine and stir 1 to 2 minutes or until it is absorbed.
Add broth to the rice one cup at a time, stirring continually, until almost absorbed. This takes about 20 to 25 minutes and will take most or all of the 6 cups of hot broth.
When the rice is just tender, stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of buttery spread and the roasted chanterelle mushrooms.
Serve risotto immediately in wide, shallow bowls. Top with vegan parmesan to taste.

Risotto Per serving: 414.5 calories, 11 g fat, 2.3 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 6.7 g protein, 65.3 g carbohydrates and 3.3 g dietary fiber.

Vegan Parmesan, per teaspoon: 8.3 calories, 0.2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1.3 g protein, 0.8 g carbohydrates and 0.7 g dietary fiber.

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