Meatless Monday: Mushroom Risotto

We are meat eaters in our household but I tend to cook vegetarian meals a few days a week. It would be more but somehow bacon sneaks in a lot! We'll be doing Meatless Mondays in 2012. Tonight's was a comfort dish that I make quite often, Mushroom Risotto.
My risotto process has adapted over the years but is a combination of recipes from Rachel Ray, Todd English, and Giada. This meal can be made fairly quickly and the adaptations are endless.

Mushroom Risotto
Serves 4
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
3 cups broth (vegetable in this case but you could use chicken if you weren't going meatless) (Bulk grocery is a great place to look for broth powder & makes it very affordable.)
1 cup wine
3 TBS butter (total- will be split)
3 TBS olive oil (total- will be split)
1/4-1/2 cup grate parmesan depending on your personal taste
5 oz mushrooms, sliced (I also dice & use the stems)
1 sliced shallot
1 tsp ground rosemary
a few tablespoons of brandy
1/4 cup cream

In a large stockpot heat up 1 TBS butter and 2 TBS olive oil over medium heat. When hot add the arborio rice. Toast gently using a spatula to move it around the pan. When the edges of each grain look translucent and the center of each is bright white add the wine and continue to stir. You can minimize the amount of wine and replace with broth if desired. After the wine soaks in, slowly add about a half cup of the broth. Turn the heat down to low-medium. If you have the heat too high the liquid will not cook the rice and your risotto will be crunchy in the middle. You will continue adding broth a bit at a time over the course of roughly 20 minutes, stirring frequently. 
In a frying pan, melt 1 TBS butter in 1 TBS olive oil over medium heat. Add sliced mushrooms and cook until golden. Add shallots and cook for 3 minutes longer. Pour in a few tablespoons of brandy. Sometimes when I'm feeling brave or showing off for my son I light the brandy on fire. The brandy is not necessary if you don't have it on hand. I sometimes use cider or apple juice. Add powdered rosemary and 1/4 cup cream. Salt to taste. Turn heat to low to keep warm until risotto is done.
After you have added all liquid to risotto and it has cooked over the course of 20 minutes pull the pan off the heat. Make sure the liquid is cooked out and add the cheese. Next cut the remaining tablespoon of butter into quarters and add to risotto stirring to melt. Salt & pepper to taste. 
Serve risotto with mushrooms on top. Enjoy!

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