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Author Notes: In my family, any of the burnt bits on the bottom of the risotto pan - or any rice dishes are delicacies worth fighting for. I also love appetizers more than anything - and have not infrequently ordered only appetizers at a restaurant. What can be better than turning a great dinner dish into appetizers. (p.s. You can use this technique on your leftover risotto. If your risotto doesn't have enough cheese in it, you will need to add a couple table spoons of oil to the frying pan) —Tokyo Yum
Serves 8 for appetizers
- small handful dried porcini
- 2 cups chicken stock, hot
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 clove garlic, pressed through garlic press
- 1 onion, diced fine
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1 cup vermouth
- 4 ounces crimini mushrooms, diced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 ounces grated parmesan
- Put cleaned dry porcinis into the hot chicken broth for about 15 minutes. Take the mushrooms out, squeezing excess liquid back into the broth container. Dice porcinis and reserve.
- Over medium flame, heat oil and butter in pan. Add onion and garlic. Turn heat to low and stir and cook for about 10 minutes. Do not let onions brown. Turn up the heat a bit and add rice. Stir for about a minute, until the rice becomes translucent. Add mushrooms (porcinis and criminis) and cook for an additional minute. Add vermouth and stir slowly until liquid is gone.
- Set timer for 15 minutes. Add a ladle of broth at a time, stirring, stirring, stirring. According to Jaimie Oliver, this is what releases the starch and makes risotto creamy. Taste rice - you are looking for a slightly al dente texture. If you run out of broth before the 15 minutes and the rice is still too hard, add hot water in small ladle amounts. Remove from heat. When al dente is reached, add butter and pamesan. Stir until well mixed. Cover and allow to sit for 2 minutes.
- Heat non-stick frying pan. Lightly oil, taking up any extra with a paper towel. Drop a pancake batter worth of risotto into the pan. If you are using room temp or cold risotto, add 1 teaspoon of water to the frying pan to loosen the starches and allow you to shape the risotto. With a spatula, go around the edges making a round shape. Then push down to flatten to about 1/2" height. Cook until the bottom is well browned. Flip and add a teaspoon of water to frying pan, to loosen starches on second side. Cut the pancake into small wedges while still in the frying pan, using spatula to neaten the edges. The pancakes can also be served whole -- as a side dish at dinner.