Baby Led Weaning

Growing healthy babies with healthy appetites

Mushroom Risotto

It's hard to refine my mushroom risotto recipe for publication, really, as I have made it so often over the years that I just tend to fling in whatever I have in the house. Including frozen peas, which I appreciate would technically make it a pea risotto but let's not be picky.

For the three of us, but with plenty for second helpings and a bit left over for the next day to spread hot onto buttered french bread (o-ho yes…)

One medium onion

A couple of cloves of garlic

Butter and olive oil

Half a pack of Arborio or Carnaroli risotto rice, probably about 225g or so.

Home-made chicken stock, if you've got it. Roughly a litre to a litre and a half. If not, some Marigold reduced salt stuff or half of one of those no-salt Kallo cubes which I personally think taste disgusting. Or if you've got the heel of a piece of Parmesan floating around the fridge you can use that as a stock, that's what I often do, to be honest.

A good slug of white wine or Madeira (optional)

One tbsp porcini mushrooms soaked in warm water (also optional)

As many mushrooms as you can get your mitts on. I usually use at least one supermarket pack (if I haven't bought them elsewhere)  so that's probably about 250g but often I'm using up scabby old ones so loads more go in. Roughly chop into halves or quarters, so they are easier for the babies to pick up.

A good two tbsp of chopped up Parmesan cheese

Gently fry the chopped onion and garlic in a puddle of olive oil and butter. The butter is for flavour, if you leave it out you will notice I reckon. When the onion is clear, throw in the rice and keep it moving around the pan for a few minutes so it can soak up some oil. I use a wide-based pan for risotto. Put in the mushrooms, and fry them. If you think you need more oil or butter, chuck it in. If you have porcini, rinse them, drain them, shop them and fling them in as well at this stage.

Then spoon in some warmed-up chicken stock bit by bit, until it is all absorbed and the rice is sticky-slidy and cooked through and looks like little white pebbles. Well, that's what recipe books tell you to do. I tend to fling in about three-quarters of the stock or some water and a heel of cheese, along with the Parmesan, cook it for a while until the baby's portion is done. Can't really be doing with all the bit by bit business.

Then I take Babybear's out and whack up the heat, adding the rest of the liquid with the dissolved stock cube, wine, Madeira until it disappears. If this whole thing takes much longer than 20 minutes you are in trouble, as risotto should really be fast food, not taking much longer than the onions and rice to cook.

I put so much Parmesan into the rice that I don't need any more on top, just a grind or two of pepper finishes this off for me. We serve it with salad, or just by itself if we are feeling lazy. Babybear's, having cooled down, can be eaten from a spoon if I can be arsed loading it up, but I generally just give it to her on her tray and she grabs it with her hands, chewing the mushrooms for a while before spitting most of them out. (Honestly, though, try the bread thing the next day. Truly, Babybear thinks this is the best bit.)

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3 Responses to “Mushroom Risotto”

  1. Anonymous says:

    mmm we love risotto in our house. In fact I have a batch of baby-sized portions of marrow risotto in the freezer. From when my Dad's lovingly grown courgettes turned into marrows while he was on holiday. Its difficult to think up enough ideas of how to cook something that size.

  2. Kat with a kitten :-) says:

    Can this be done in the oven rather than over the hob? That’s more my idea of fast food! Thanks :-)

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