Now, don't ask me how a nice Jewish girl originally from Long Island winds up with risotto as a comfort food. I mean, if I read the manual, it would probably say chicken soup - right? And chicken soup is great too - don't get me wrong. But these days, with a dislocated little toe and June gloom, I find myself turning to risotto for comfort. The texture is perfect. And someone gave me some sliced truffles which came in water. And I still have lots of dried shitaki mushrooms. So what's a girl to do?
I'll tell you what I tried to do. I tried photographing the risotto with the veggies I had grilled to go with it - red pepper, zucchini and eggplant. For some reason, not even Photoshop wants to open those pictures. They are, apparently, in an unrecognizable format. I see another learning curve in my future..........
Since I've made this kind of a dish before, I'm going to cheat a little and give you the recipe as it appeared here. Besides, I just went back and re-read that post, and in a heartbeat I was back in Rome. If you have the time and would care to take a quick jaunt to the Eternal City, be my guest!
What foods do you call comfort foods?
BTW - The black phoebe is using the bush outside my window as a culinary lesson for her young. Beyond fabulous!
2 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), halved, thinly sliced crosswise (about 2 cups)
3/4 cup whipping cream
1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, cut into 1/4- to 1/3-inch-thick slices
1 large onion, halved, thinly sliced lengthwise
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 tablespoon white truffle oil
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, divided
1 large onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups arborio rice or medium-grain white rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
5 cups (or more) hot vegetable broth
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons shaved or chopped black truffle (optional)
Chopped fresh parsley
Bring leeks and cream to boil in heavy medium saucepan. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until leeks are tender and cream is thick, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm before continuing.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss all ingredients on rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until mushrooms are tender and light brown around edges, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add rice; stir 1 minute. Add wine and stir until almost all liquid is absorbed, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup hot broth. Simmer until broth is almost absorbed, stirring often, about 4 minutes. Add more broth, 1 cup at a time, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding next and stirring often, until rice is tender and mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes longer. Stir in leek mixture, mushroom mixture, remaining 2 tablespoons butter, cheese, and truffle. Transfer to large bowl, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.
White truffle oil is sold at some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores and Italian markets. Black truffles are available at specialty foods stores and from igourmet.com. A flavorful substitute for the shaved truffles is the Truffle Gatherers Sauce ($19), which can be ordered from fungusamongus.com.
I had truffle oil this time, but not leeks. I used scallions instead. And, as I mentioned, I used truffles that had originally come sliced and in a can with water. I have never looked for this type of can. The woman who gave it to me is the wife of a chef. It helps to have connections!!