Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Mushroom Season

Mushroom season is drawing to a close. We have been blessed this season and lately MK and her grandma' have contributed. It has for a long time been a tradition when first M and now MK have gone hunting for mushrooms in the woods while walking Eddie, the dog. Their grandmother knows many good spots and she is not revealing them to anybody but her grandchildren. The result is as always a fairly sized bag of various mushrooms. Primarily chanterelles, but also trompethatte and pigsvampe (Sorry, no translation for these Danish names. A visit to suggests that they are all part of the Chanterellus family).
Since these mushrooms are so fresh we show them deference and make crostini.. After 3 days of mushroom crostini even we think that it could be time for a change. We consider making a risotto, but MK protests. After some debating we go back to the crostini, but then MK decides that she would like risotto anyway. We decide to compromise and make the crostini and then a seafood risotto afterwards.
The crostini are accompanied by the excellent Bourgogne Chardonnay 2010 from Henri Boillot. Even if it is the entry wine from this producer it is still fairly expensive, but for a good reason. We love it and have to admit that we are now on the second case this year.
The risotto should be made with fresh seafood, but that was not possible this day in Elsinore. We have some blue mussels, some norwegian lobster and some prawns. All frozen.
First stock for the risotto: The heads and claws are cut from the lobsters and fried in a pot. After a minute or so they are covered with water and chicken stock. Some vegetables are added in big chunks – shallots, parsnips, garlic, herbs and it is brought to a low simmer.
The risotto-making is then commenced (always stir). Two small shallots are cut finely. These are then browned in a combination of melted butter and olive oil. After a minute Canaroli or Aborio rice are added. This is a heavy dish and even if it is your main course you should probably not use much more than 60-70 grams/person. After frying the rice for a little while (they should begin to look a little glassy) add some white wine (one glass for each 3 persons). Always stir. Then the long process of adding stock and stirring proceeds. We use a ladle to get the boiling stock and add it to the risotto. This will take some time and you may tire in your arm. MK did.
In the meantime the remaining lobster tails have been split and they are now fried on a hot pan. The mussels get the same treatment. They will produce some juices and we add them to our risotto as supplement to the stock.
Determining when the risotto is finished is the subject of conversation afterwards at the table. Luckily T and K agree that the risotto should be fairly runny and the rice shall have some bite. Therefore a fair amount of stock is added in the end before adding a generous handful of grated parmesan cheese and finally the prawns are added so they will just cook for the last 30 seconds. The lobsters and mussels are arranged on top.
With this we have the Bastianich Plus 2007 from Friuli. Also a wine that we have enjoyed much, but we are now down to one bottle and that is OK, as we feel it is beginning to show its age.
By the way, M produced the opposing opinion that the risotto should be less runny and the rice be more soft. Even though we disagree, we will look into this on our next risotto endeavor.

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