Funghi: pronunced fungki, with hard G like in Gitte, in danish “svamp”. Porcini: is a kind of svamp known in Scandinavia as “Karl Johan”, latin name: Boletus edulis.
Latin name is not here to show off, but because it’s easy to lookup vegetables in Wikipedia using the latin name. So let’s say you are Finnish or you are Chinese living in Finland: just look up Boletus edulis and you are ready to go to the greengrocer and ask for a “Herkkutatti”. Latin is the English of vegetables.
I will try to explain everything into small details so if you already know the basis of this religion you might find it little bit boring. Sorry but this is needed to pass the lore on. Making a good risotto is quite easy, the first time might taste terrible but then you learn and you will be able to master this science!
In Denamrk I have found Karl Johan svamp from China, they are ok! But, since I think it’s stupid to make svamp fly from the other side of the Earth, if you really want them from outside Denmark then let it be from the best place for risotto-svamp that would be the north of Italy: Trento is my favourite. (in Copehnagen you can find them in Super Marco, http://www.supermarco.dk/)
The kind of rice is extremely important, you can use:
- Riso Carnaroli (and I will respect you)
- Riso Roma (less respect)
- Riso Arborio (mmmm)
Others breeds of rice are strictly forbidden!
But if you are really in bad need of a risotto and there is no other option you can use grødris. Please never use other rice kind, like basmati or jasmin…
Try to look at the rice grain they are very different and basically absorb water in a different way, so it will taste different.
INGREDIENTS for 4 people
- 200g of RISO CARNAROLI (Carnaroli Rice)
- 1 porre (leek) or 2 forårsløg (spring onion) or 1 normal løg (onion), I like the porre.
- 1 glass of white wine (the worst of the world is perfect)
- 1 litre of water
- 40g of butter (maybe 50g ;-)
- 4 tea spoons EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
- 50g Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
- cellery, onion, carrot, laurel for the stock
- some persille with broad leaves. (you can skip this ingredient)
To make risotto you need 2 pots. A big one and a small one.
Mushrooms are usually dry, so start with putting them into a small cup with a little of water. We are going to reuse the water later.
1. The small one is for a good stock(bouillon):
1.1 Boil circa 1l of water, with some cellery (in danish selleri: the top of a branch, 5cm with leaves), 1 onion, a carrot. This should boil for at least 30 min before you start to do the rest. If you are in a hurry you could use 1 dice of Grønsags-bouillon (please no animal, so we keep risotto vegetarian proof!)
1.2 Add then 3-4 leaves of laurel (laurbær)
1.3 Leave it boil covered.
2. In the big pot (that you will never cover):
2.1 put 4 tea spoons of EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL, and 20g of Danish Butter Lurpak (so they get to know each other, the Mediterranean and the Scandinavian, international mixture is a good secret for tasty
2.2.Cut the porre (or springløg or simple løg) in super thin slices and put into the warm oil/butter (it should be warm, I would not put onion in cold oil/butter in this case).
2.3 In italian we say “make them sweat” (fare sudare) so basically you need to stir them while in the pot in order to avoid them to burn. (max 2 min, but even less)
2.4 Add the rice it into the pot. What we need to do now is to toast it, so it gets ready to be cooked. Toast it for 3 min, remember: keep on stiring so nothing gets burn.
2.5 Pour 1 glass of white wine (it can be of the worst kind) and make the alcohol evaporate, if you are Swedish and think that is a terrible sin, you can always sniff it from the top of the pot. I love it! The
complete evaporation happen after 2 minutes.
2.6 Put 2 ladle of bouillon (less than 2 tea cups) in the pot.
2.7 Put some salt (possibly marine salt, the Læsø salt is fantastic, Maldon is good, Sicilian would be the one that every Italian would use for risotto, and it is very good as well) and some pepper. Wait that the water has been absorbed by the rice, but not completely.
2.8 Put some more bouillon, never more than 2 tea cups and let it absorb, but not completely. There must always be water in the pot.
2.9 Repeat 2.8 until the rice is almost ready (taste it, it should be al dente). It would take some time, in mean while you could add to the bouillon the water from the svamp (if you feel like = you are sure the svamp were clean.). The secret is to take care of the rice adding little by little some water circa every 2 – 5 minutes.
2.10 When almost ready put the svamp into the pot.
2.11 Now you can wait to be 100% ready (taste it) and you can add more water if it is getting too dry. It must be served “all’onda”, “on the wave”, so it means that it should not be too liquid but not too solid. If you tilt the plate it should do some tiny ripples.
2.12 Add some thin chopped persille, just to add a fresh touch, not too much. (you can skip this ingredient)
2.13 Let it rest and cut the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese into small cubes and put it into the pot.
2.14 Put 20g of butter into the pot (the cheese and butter procedure is called “mantecatura” if you want a lighter version you can skip the butter). Manteca is Spanish for butter. It is said that this process was originally adopted during the Spanish ruling of Lombardia (Milano region) during the Renaissance. You have to beat the rice and shake the pot in order to emulsify it and reach the right texture.
When your arm hurts the mantecatura is completed. You can serve the risotto!