Oatmeal and mushroom risotto

This week, Woolworths had finally launched Steel cut oats in their stores, as you can imagine the excitement was palpable  with so many foodies patiently waiting for it to hit our shores! Steel cut oats are different from regular rolled oats, instant oats, and quick cook oats, in that it is processed in different ways. Steel cut oats are toasted groats that are coarsely chopped into small pieces, and have a chewy texture and nutty flavour. Of all the variation of oats, steel cut oats take the longest time to cook, approximately 20-30 minutes, you can of course reduce the cooking time by soaking the oats overnight. 
This recipe is adapted from the Savoury oatmeal risotto recipe from Geoffrey Zakarian, spotted on an episode of The kitchen. I love the unusual idea of savoury oats, as opposed to the accepted norm of oats, I.e honey drizzled oats, topped with fresh fruit or poached fruit, or simply sprinkled with brown sugar and dusted with cinnamon. I’m crazy about mushrooms, and always love experimenting with different kinds and variations. I added dried porcini to the chicken stock to add the extra kick of umami and meatiness to the risotto, added chopped shiitake mushrooms for added texture and flavour. 

Oatmeal and mushroom risotto. 

Ingredients

2 cups of steel cut oats

750ml chicken or vegetable stock 

1 red onion finely chopped

dried pieces of porcini mushroom

Four shiitake mushrooms sliced 

50 ml Olive oil, and extra for drizzling. 

Smoked sea salt flakes 

Freshly cracked black pepper 

1/2 cup Parmesan, I used Grana Padano 

2 tablespoons of butter 

A few basil leaves, torn 

Method

In a large pan, on a medium high heat, heat the olive oil then sauté the onion until translucent and soft, for 8 minutes. In a separate dry pan, toast the oats for 2 minutes until a nutty scent is emitted, then add to the sautéed onion, and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Add the dehydrated porcini mushrooms to the warm stock and set aside for a few minutes. 
Add two big ladles of chicken stock to the pan with two big ladles of water, and bring to a simmer whilst stirring frequently until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add the shiitake and hydrated porcini mushroom, then add more water and chicken stock accordingly as you go along, cook for 25 minutes. 
Stir in the butter, Parmesan and add the torn basil to finish. Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a little more Parmesan grated over the dish. 

I could never perfect the ‘death dish’ before but this dish has proven to be incredibly simple and dare I say incredibly delicious! With loads of patience and vision for the end product, making risotto doesn’t have to intimidating! 

The hydrated porcini in the stock with the shiitake mushrooms finished with the Grana Padano, elevated the dish into an umami bomb that supersedes all else! The steel cut oats lends a nutty flavour to the dish and a creamy texture that would fool anyone to think this is a norm for risotto. I would happily indulge in this risotto any day!
Yesterday was probably one of the best lunchtime meals I’ve had in a long time! Every morsel packed with umami goodness and texture, made me mindfully consume my meal and sit down to enjoy good food the way it truly should be enjoyed. 

**This post has not been sponsored, and thus all ingredients were purchased by myself**

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