Originally Posted by StefanT
I've previously made mushroom risotto the traditional way: sauteeing the mushrooms first, removing then while I prepare the rice, and then adding the mushrooms back once the rice is ready.
Has anyonetried to simply bake the mushrooms seperately while you cook the arborio and then combining them afterwards? Any thoughts on how it'd affect the dish?
It's possible, I do it all the time.
For flavoring the risotto itself I buy dried mushrooms in varieties I can't find fresh - porcini, chanterelles, whatever I can find. I soak these in very hot water for about a half hour and then use the mushroom stock to flavor the risotto, along with chicken stock. I also chop up the rehydrated mushrooms very very finely and add them to the rice as it cooks. Just using dried mushrooms alone will give you a risotto that is packed full of flavor.
But for texture and presentation I sautee fresh mushrooms. I do not roast them, they do not garnish enough texture this way. I sautee them hot and fast in small batches only a handful goes in the pan along with a pinch of minced garlic, thyme, and olive oil. Very hot heat, keep them moving, and they'll get a nice crust. You can also grill them for more depth of flavor. Remove to a bowl and when you've cooked all the batches toss in to the mushrooms a little bit of fresh parsley and about 5-6 drops of fresh lemon juice to spruce them up. I like to serve these on top of the risotto.