Last night I made my first attempt at ultimate fusion cooking. My goal, seven mushroom risotto.
I started at the supermarket, at which I bought every single type of mushroom and fungi that I could discover. Seeking stock was difficult as I was unable to read the labels, I resigned to making it fresh and purchased chicken wings instead. I also found a very nice drop of South African Chenin Blanc, most of which, I promise, found its way into the risotto.
Having carted all my produce home, I set to work. Browning the chicken, deglazing with a bit of wine, adding parsley stalks and good ol' aitch-two-oh, and set it all about bubbling for a couple of hours. Once done, I set half aside with the chicken pieces to become soup for another night, and began on the mushrooms.
They are wonderful, I still don't even know what half of them are, there are shiitakes, buttons and something like a Swiss brown at least. Of the others some are blessed with long thin white stalks and itty bitty caps, others big bulbous bases with slightly upturned caps, others are just a feathered clump almost like a bracket fungus, and lastly the cutest arrive joined all at the base still, a little round knot of petite brown caps. I set to washing and chopping them up, then sauteed lightly and placed to the side, leaving all the mushroom-y juices at the bottom of the pan. This was soon accompanied by a bit more oil and half a diced onion, tossed til translucent, and the uncooked rice added.
The rice was where things began to go awry. It was my mistake, I overestimated the amount required as I often do with rice, it began to swell and threaten to devour the world, as I poured in the stock and wine as required. In hindsight, I should have at this point removed some of the rice, but I endeavoured instead to simply make a bigger meal. I mixed in the sauteed mushrooms, and Parmesan, and discovered to my dismay that my beautiful risotto due to its sheer size had sealed itself in charcoal to the bottom of the pan.
I managed to rescue most of the meal but it did retain a very slight burnt aftertaste. Disappointing, but not discouraging. This is only episode one, my forays into ultimate fusion cooking will continue, and the leftovers have proved to be very appetising with Tabasco and pizza cheese on top. Tasty.