Recently my friend Lauren and I were asked to participate in a twitter chat for Rioja Wine. Instead of just tweeting, we turned it into a reason to throw a party inspired by Rioja and Spanish cuisine. We made montaditos and bacon wrapped dates, and had a variety of Spanish cheeses. But knowing how hungry my husband tends to be, I needed to serve something a little more substantial. Using Rioja as my inspiration, I made a Mushroom, Manchego, and Almond Risotto. Rioja is a medium bodied wine that pairs very well with food, especially mushrooms, manchego, and almonds and these ingredients work beautifully in a risotto.
Once I learned to make risotto, I found myself making it all the time. Risotto and chicken broth are ideal items to keep in your pantry. Then you can add any cheese or vegetables you might find in your fridge. Even on nights when there is “nothing to eat” I can pull together a risotto.
25 minCook Time
25 minTotal Time
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Butter
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio Rice
- 24 ounces Chicken Broth
- 8 ounces Baby Bella Mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 cup grated Manchego Cheese
- 2 tablespoons Sliced Almonds
- Salt and Pepper
- Begin by pouring the broth into a saucepan and bringing it to a slow simmer.
- Melt 1/2 tablespoon butter in a medium pot over medium low heat. Add the rice and lightly toast it. The rice will turn from a pure white to a slightly off white after 2 minutes. Stir frequently.
- Add broth to the rice, until it just covers the rice. Let lightly simmer.
- Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, and stir to evenly coat them in butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté the mushrooms for about 8 minutes until they have browned. Keep warm.
- Stir the rice with a wooden spoon frequently. Once the broth has been absorbed, add more broth until the rice is submerged. Let simmer.
- Then toast the almonds in an oven heated to 350 degrees for 1-2 minutes until just browned. Set the toasted almonds aside.
- The rice will need a third, and possibly a forth addition of broth. You want the rice to be cooked until it is al dente. You want it to be slightly chewy, not mushy. Add the broth a third time, and then taste test to see if you need to add broth a forth time.
- Once the rice is ready, stir in the cheese and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with the toasted almonds.