Porcini Risotto

I’ve heard a lot of people here say that risotto is essentially nothing but mushy wet rice. They’re not wrong. Risotto IS rice cooked in tons of broth and served up all creamy (and dreamy) like.

Asians are so used to white rice, fried rice, spiced rice… But soggy rice? Isn’t porridge the same thing? Similar? Maybe risotto is in between the satisfying dry rice & comforting congee. In an uncomfortable category that most Asians cannot comprehend or have a taste for.

I didn’t quite understand it initially myself. I’m always down to try something new and my very first risotto happened about 3 years ago at a pretty authentic Italian restaurant. I remember I ordered the bacon asparagus version. Maybe you don’t believe in love at first sight but I firmly believe that there’s such a thing as love at first bite.

When I saw this on the shelves of the grocery store at the Zurich Airport (yes!!!! there’s a grocery at the airport!! *mind-blown*) just hours before we were to board the plane to fly home, I HAD to get it. It was pretty cheap. Also, saying that I’m making risotto that I bought from Switzerland just sounds fancy. :-P
Porcini Risotto 1

Because I had fancy risotto to make, I used proper Parmesan. It doesn’t take a lot at all so it’s definitely worth using the real thing rather than the pre-grated packaged ones.
Porcini Risotto 2

Start everything off with a nice dose of butter.
Porcini Risotto 3

Once the rice grains are properly coated with the oil, In with ladlefuls of broth. Once that ladle is absorbed, add another ladle. Using a nonstick pan makes this a little less stressful because rice can burn onto the bottom of a pan very easily. It didn’t take me very long to make this. At most, 20 minutes? Once the porcini rehydrated, didn’t take a lot of time for the rice to get tender & creamy.
Porcini Risotto 4-7

A sprinkling of spring onions for colour. 
Porcini Risotto 8

The risotto may look a little wet but once the cheese melds in, all will be well.
Porcini Risotto 9

Trust me.
Porcini Risotto 10

Doesn’t look very exciting huh.
Porcini Risotto 11

Want a closer look?
Porcini Risotto 12

Any better?
Porcini Risotto 13

I don’t know about you but I had leftovers for lunch the next 2 days. 
Porcini Risotto 14

I was one happy happy girl.

signature

“Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.” {Hosea 14:9}

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Porcini Risotto
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
I used a prepackaged risotto mix but the recipe below will reflect the portions equivalent to what I used as per the ingredients list.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Arborio Rice
  • 2 tbsp dried Porcini, broken up to small pieces
  • ½ tsp Italian Herbs
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 Shallot, chopped finely
  • 6 cups Broth (I used low-salt Chicken but Beef, Veal, Vegetable or any others will work)
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup minced Spring Onions
  • Pepper & Salt
Steps
  1. In a high sided flat pan (I used nonstick), melt the butter on MED heat.
  2. Toss in garlic & shallot. Saute until shallot pieces are translucent, about 1 min,
  3. Pour rice in & stir around until all the grains are coated with butter.
  4. Add porcini & Italian herbs.
  5. Begin by pouring in 1 ladle of broth. Bring up to a simmer. Stir rice around in the pan as the broth is absorbed. Keep ladling in broth, one ladle at a time, and stir while rice grains absorb the broth.
  6. After about 4-5 ladles, taste to see if rice is done. The rice should be al dente, meaning tender but with a chew. Also, it should be slightly wet & creamy as the rice will keep absorbing moisture as it sits. You may or may not need all of the broth.
  7. Once you determine the rice is ready, stir in spring onions & grated Parmesan.
  8. Sprinkle in a pinch of pepper then taste to adjust seasoning with salt. If it's too dry, add a splash more broth.
  9. Serve immediately!

Plum Pineapple Tiramisu

I think food purists wouldn’t like me or my food very much. I am prone to smashing a few components of different dishes together and calling it something else. (Tiramisu-Trifle? Kiwi in Salsa? Ratatouille with Brinjal & Cauliflower?)

That’s the true beauty of homecooking. You get to change out anything you don’t like (or forgot to buy… ehem) and add more of what you love. It’s my type of art. Mostly because it’s edible. Also because I get to play with my food. Never bad.

I love traditional tiramisu so so much. But I know some people around me who cannot take coffee for health reasons. Kids are also not allowed to have caffeine, I’m told. Seeing as I myself don’t want to lie awake in bed at 3am due to caffeine rush (I cannot have coffee after lunch time. It’s terrible.), I decided to swap out the coffee & cocoa for fruitier flavours!

Nothing here, besides those Savoiardi cookies, are classic to tiramisu. But who bother eh? I find mascarpone a little too expensive so instead, I use cream cheese lightened up with a bit of heavy cream. Works a treat!
Plum Pineapple Tiramisu 1

I used unsweetened pineapple juice to moisten them cookies. No, I didn’t want to use the syrup from that can of pineapple rings. The cookies already come with a sugar crust on them so no need for that extra sugary rush! You can most definitely use freshly squeezed orange juice too. I had none. Would have been real good!
Plum Pineapple Tiramisu 2

Layer 2: Fruit fans :-)
Plum Pineapple Tiramisu 3

Keep on layering. If brick-laying is this fun, I’d do it.
Plum Pineapple Tiramisu 4

You can tell I ran out of fruits pretty quickly. Haha! Just make sure you have plenty. (ie, don’t be me.)
Plum Pineapple Tiramisu 5

A few strawberry fans to glam this up and into the fridge it goes to chill out.
Plum Pineapple Tiramisu 6

Oooorrr if you happen to have a nice garden nearby, it can chill out there too.
Plum Pineapple Tiramisu 7

Distinct layers but melded together all the same.
Plum Pineapple Tiramisu 8

Isn’t this one pretty dessert?
Plum Pineapple Tiramisu 9

It’s not really that hard to impress ;-) Why even bother what it’s called.

signature

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.” {Isaiah 26:3}

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Plum Pineapple Tiramisu
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • 2 packages of Savoiardi Cookies (Ladyfingers) - I used about 16 cookies
  • 1 cup unsweetened Pineapple Juice
  • 8 Pineapple Rings, cut into 1 inch sections
  • 6 Black Plums, cut into thin wedges
  • 6 oz (170 gm) Cream Cheese, soft
  • ¼ cup Heavy/Double Cream
  • 2 tbsp Powdered Sugar
  • Strawberries, for topping
Steps
  1. Get an 8x8 glass dish ready.
  2. Beat cream cheese together with powdered sugar & heavy cream in a large bowl. Let aside.
  3. Pour pineapple juice in a shallow bowl.
  4. Dip savoiardi cookies into pineapple juice & arrange into dish for the first layer. Don't leave cookie soaking in the juice. Just roll in the juice so the surface touches juice and remove immediately.
  5. Arrange pineapple & plum segments alternatively on top of the soaked biscuit layer.
  6. Top with ½ of cream cheese mixture, spreading it out evenly.
  7. Repeat once more with the cookie, fruit then finally the last ½ of cream cheese mixture.
  8. Cut strawberries to shapes of your preference & decorate top.
  9. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving cold.
Notes
There may be a little extra cream cheese leftover depending on how deep your dish is.