An Homage to Gourmet

Well its been a few weeks, and I think I’m finally adjusting to the fact that Gourmet is gone.  But thankfully, the entire magazine (at least, all of the recipes) has always been archived online, at Epicurious.  And after picking up 8 million leeks at our second-to-last CSA this week, give or take one or two, J and I dug through those archives, with only 3 requirements:

1) That the recipe use as many leeks as humanly possible.
2) That it be served warm.
3) Of course, that it be from Gourmet.

But, it wouldn’t be our style to just cook the recipe… we try, but we never manage not to tweek.  So here is what we came up with, courtesy of Gourmet and whatever ingredients we had lying around the house.

Leek and Roasted Mushroom Risotto

Risotto is the perfect winter food: warm, creamy, healthy (?), comforting… I could go on.  It’s also perfect for making a giant batch and then reheating it throughout the week for lunch.  I think I’ve talked about how to make risotto on this blog about a hundred times, but the construct of the veggies in this one is slightly different.

Make the leeks and the mushrooms first.

For the leeks:

Dice the bulbs of 4 leeks.  The easiest way to do this is to cut the stems off right after the light green part.  Cut the leek crosswise, and then chop.  Depending on how big your leeks are, you might not need 4, but you should have about 2 cups after everything is all cut up.  On the stove, heat about 1 cup of heavy cream in a saucepan.  Add the leeks, bring to a boil, and then simmer for about 15 minutes.  The leeks will get soft and infuse the cream with their flavor.  Set aside.

For the mushrooms:

The more the merrier.  Mushrooms get quite small when you cook them, so we used a whole carton of cremini.  Slice them thinly.  Also slice a whole onion.  Place the mushrooms and onions in a casserole dish and toss them with several tablespoons of melted butter and some fresh thyme.  We also used this delicious truffle salt that I brought back from Nice, but it was completely unnecessary.  Roast in the oven (about 350-400) for 30-45 minutes.  Our oven is a bit wacky, so just make sure to keep an eye on them.  You’ll know when they’re done: they’ll be golden and delicious-looking.

While the veggies are roasting and simmering, you can start on the risotto part of the dish.

Dice an onion and cook it in several tablespoons of butter on your stovetop.  On another burner, have several cups of chicken broth simmering.
When the onions are translucent, add about 2 cups of aborio rice (you’ll need a big saute pan for all of this–the rice is going to get huge).   Saute for about 2 more minutes, until the rice is coated, slightly translucent, and warm.  Pour in a cup or a cup and a half of white wine and let it cook off.  Remember, the most important part of risotto is constant stirring.  Keep the rice moving.  Now start adding the warm chicken broth, about half a cup at a time. Stir, stir, stir.  Add more chicken broth as needed.  This part of the process should take about 20-30 minutes.  I usually stop adding broth at about 20 minutes in and then let the rest cook off.

Now to finish.

Add to the risotto 2 tablespoons butter, grated Parmesan cheese, the cream and leeks, and the mushrooms and onions.  Stir to combine, and try not to eat all in one sitting (its hard, I know).