Shiitake Mushroom & Sweet Potato Risotto along with Goose Bay Viognier

This past week we were looking for an easy and slow weekend, so we opted to stay home and cook a lovely risotto. We have made risotto many times before, but this one was the best by far.  The main difference this time was that we fried the shiitake mushrooms separately in a large pan, and we browned the sweet potatoes and onions in another pan, and then before the last round of water, we put the fried shiitake mushrooms and pan fried sweet potatoes into the risotto mixture. Initially it looked like there were too many mushrooms, but when we warmed it up the next day the smokiness of the fried mushrooms permeated the flavor and they shrunk a bit more in the pot, making for a lovely looking and tasting dish.

The shiitake mushrooms stayed dark brown while also keeping their texture and structure. The sweet potatoes were cubed a bit large, so they too remained whole but soft when reheating for the Friday Night Shabbos meal. As usual, do not complete the risotto the night before, instead leave that for Friday. Friday before sunset add in a cup or a cup and a half of rice milk and mix the dish up well. Then throw it cold in a 225 degree oven for an hour+ and it should come out warm and delicious.

Shiitake Mushroom & Sweet Potato Risotto Recipe
Three sliced onions
1tbl of Canola Oil for every round of browning
2lb of shiitake mushrooms – sliced
Sea Salt on each batch of onions, mushrooms, and sweet potatoes – to help with browning
2 yellow sweet potato
4 or more cups of broth brought to boil and then kept warm on the stove in a small sauce pan
1 to 2 tbl of olive oil
2 cups of Arborio rice
1 cup of dry white wine
1 to 2 cups of rice milk – USE only before shabbos

Dice half the onions (1 and a half onion), slice the mushrooms and place in separate containers. Also dice the other half of the onions, and cube the sweet potatoes, and place in containers. Now in one pan heat up 1 tablespoon of Canola oil and sauté the onions until golden brown. Then add the mushrooms in a single layer at a time, and sprinkle them with sea salt. Make sure to not overcrowd the pan, so that you brown the mushrooms instead of steam them. After the mushrooms get nice and browned and slightly crispy pull them out.  Add another tablespoon of Canola oil (making sure to not have the oil splatter as the pan is VERY hot at this point), and brown the next batch of mushrooms. Once all the mushrooms are done, remove them, and add in oil once more and then start on the sweet potatoes. You want them to get a bit browned, but more important than caramelization, is that they start to smell sweet as they give off their starch and break down the sugars. Remove them from the pan once they start to get very soft.

Then in a small sauce pan bring the 4 cups of broth to a boil and then keep them on the fire on a low simmer, for use in a few minutes. Now, in a large Dutch oven or Pot add a tablespoon or two of Olive oil and heat it up. Then add in the other diced onion(s) and sauté them until soft. Once browned, throw in the spices and herbs and the two cups of rice. Make sure the coat the rice with oil and once they start to dry and stick to the pot, throw in a cup of dry white wine. Once that is gone, put in a cup of water at a time, from the sauce pan, until it too is soaked up by the rice. Once the rice has soaked up three cups of water and the wine, throw in the mushrooms and sweet potato. Mix them all around until they are correctly integrated with the rice, and then throw in the last cup of water.

At this point the dish is complete and let cool over night. On Friday afternoon, remove the pot from the refrigerator and let the pot come to room temperature. Next, add in the 1 to 2 cups of rice milk, depending on how the mixture is setting up and place in an oven at 225 degrees. One to two hours later the risotto is ready.

When I smelled the risotto and the lovely smoky mushroom smell oozing out of it on Thursday night, I knew I needed a white wine with an equally powerful perfume and aroma. I went into the cellar and brought out a bottle of 2007 Goose Bay Viognier. I have spoken often about Viognier and about this particular bottle before. It has a lovely perfumed nose, but only after two hours of air time. Well folks, I have bad news, that nose is gone and so is the wine – mostly. It is still alive, but the nose and the lovely floral aspects are all but gone, which is a real shame. I only have one more bottle, so it is not too bad for me. Drink this up if you have more.

The wine note follows below:

2007 Goose Bay Viognier – Score: B to B+
This wine is on its way out 😦 The perfume nose lasts for only a brief moment, and even then it is not overpowering as it has in the past. The nose on this light gold colored wine has peach, mint, lychee, grapefruit, rich and spicy oak, slight perfume, and citrus. The mouth on this medium bodied wine starts off being oily and perfumed with peach, grapefruit, and lychee, but that quickly dissipates. The mid palate is bracing with acid and oak, and slightly out of balance. The finish is long with more acid, rich and spicy oak, and lemon tartness. As the wine airs, it loses much of its fruit and becomes a bit more balanced but also more like a single trick pony that is not so awesome. The mouth turns to quince, grapefruit, and jasmine. The mouth softens with less bracing acidity, but it too is short lived. Soon the wine becomes and oak bomb with lemon and slight notes of grapefruit. Drink up!

Posted on September 1, 2010, in Food and drink, Kosher White Wine, Wine and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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