Tag: Mushrooms

Mushroom Risotto with Pancetta and Sage

Mushroom Risotto with Pancetta and Sage // Serious Crust with Annie FasslerMushroom Risotto with Pancetta and Sage // Serious Crust with Annie Fassler

A couple weeks ago, when Jonah and I made the cleanse chicken, we decided to use the carcass to make some chicken broth. Let me say this: if you own a slow-cooker, and are not using your leftover bones/carcasses to make broth, you are seriously missing out. If you’re going to make chicken breasts, just buy bone in chicken breasts, cook them how you normally would, and then after dinner, throw the bones and scraps into the slow cooker with some onions, carrots, salt, cover it all with water, and cook it on low overnight. You’ll immediately have the beginning of a delicious chicken soup, or in this case, mushroom risotto.

(My roommates made some delicious pork ribs last week, and once they finished eating, Jonah and I told them they should make some broth with the roasted bones. They did, and had about 6-8 cups of broth, and used it to make 2 different dinners post-ribs. Talk about using your ingredients to the fullest!)

Anyway, I knew I had some arborio rice in the cabinet, and was feeling nice and wintry, so I decided to make mushroom risotto. But as I was looking through my cookbooks, I came across a variation on mushroom risotto that included sage and pancetta. I was sold.

Mushroom Risotto with Pancetta and Sage

The Best New Recipe | Serves 4 as a main course

Note: Porcini mushrooms are expensive. If you want to try using some other mushrooms instead, and also using mushroom broth rather than chicken broth to add some of that earthy umami flavor, go for it. You can also easily make this recipe vegetarian by replacing the chicken broth with mushroom broth, and eliminating the pancetta.

Note 2: My camera was dead when I cooked this, so I only have some mediocre iPhone photos. I’m sorry.


2 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
3 sprigs fresh parsley
1/2 oz dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed in a strainer under running water
3 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
2 3/4 cup water
4 Tbl butter
1 1/4 lbs cremini mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed, and cut into quarters (or sixths, if larger)
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves
2-3 oz pancetta (I went with 3, because I like pancetta)
1 3/4 cups arborio rice
3/4 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp fresh sage leaves


With kitchen twine, tie together the bay leaves, thyme sprigs, and parsley sprigs. Put this bouquet in a pot with the porcini mushrooms, broth, soy sauce, and 2 1/2 cups water, and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the mushrooms are fully hydrated. Strain the broth, discard the herb bouquet, and set mushrooms aside. Put the broth back into the pot and keep warm over low heat. Mince the porcini mushrooms, and set aside.

In a non-stick pan over medium-high heat, melt 2 Tbl of butter. After the butter stops foaming, add the cremini mushrooms, half of the onion, and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook for about 7 minutes, until the liquid from the mushrooms has cooked off and the mushrooms are browned, and add the garlic, cooking for a minute until fragrant. Put the cooked mushrooms into a bowl and set aside. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of water to the pan to scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, then pour this liquid into the pot with the broth.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the pancetta and 1 Tbl of butter for about 5 minutes, until the pancetta has rendered most of its fat. Add the rest of the chopped onions, and cook until the onions have softened and are translucent. Add the rice and cook, stirring frequently, for about 4 minutes, or until the edges of the rice are transparent. Add the wine or vermouth to the pan, and stir, cooking until the liquid has been absorbed. Add the porcini mushrooms and roughly 2 cups of broth (or about 2 ladles full) and cook, stirring every couple of minutes, until the broth is absorbed. Add 1/2 cup or a ladle full of broth every 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, and adding more broth when the previous broth has been absorbed. The risotto is ready when the rice is cooked but has some bite to it at the center of the grain. You may not end up using all of the broth, so be sure to taste frequently for doneness. When the risotto is cooked to your liking, add the cremini mushrooms, the remaining 1 Tbl of butter, the parmesan, and chopped sage. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and enjoy with a nice glass of wine.

The leftovers are great as they are, but if you’re interested in a little revamp, form little cakes with the leftovers, and fry in some oil over medium heat. Top with a fried or poached egg for best result.

Miso Creamed Kale

Miso Creamed Kale from Wafu // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

I’ve posted about this miso creamed kale before, in a Weekend Finds post back in October. This recipe was recommended to me by a foodie friend, whose tastebuds I respect. So I was excited when I finally got around to making it. Easy, super flavorful, and wintry (most creamed veggie dishes are, in my opinion).

Miso Creamed Kale


3 Tbl unsalted butter (divided)
1 large shallot
2 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper
1 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed, roughly chopped
1/2 cup shimeji mushrooms with stems or shiitake mushroom tops, sliced into strips
1 Tbl soy sauce
1/4 cup dry vermouth
1/2 cup heavy cream or half & half
1/4 cup white miso paste


In a large pan or skillet, melt 2 Tbl of butter over medium heat. Thinly slice the shallot and garlic, and add them to the pan, along with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Turn heat to low, and let the garlic and shallot cook for a few minutes until they’ve got a bit of color. Add the kale, and cook until it’s wilted.

While you’re cooking the kale, in another pan, melt the remaining 1 Tbl of butter over medium high heat. Toss in the mushrooms (whichever kind you’re using), and cook until… well until they’re cooked through and soft. Add the soy sauce to the mushrooms, cook for another minute, and remove from heat.

Increase the heat under the kale to medium high, and add the vermouth. Cook until it is just evaporated, then add the cream/half & half and the miso. You’ll have to do a fair amount of stirring to break up the miso and make sure everything is evenly distributed and combined. Turn your heat down to medium and cook for a couple more minutes, until the sauce is slightly reduced and thickens up a little bit. Top with mushrooms, and serve.

Saffron Risotto with Mushrooms

Saffron Risotto with Mushrooms // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that Jonah and I recently purchased The Family Meal by Ferran Adria. As soon as we got it in the mail, Jonah proceeded to look at the whole book, page by page, cover to cover. Which was really adorable. He was pretty excited. Anyway, a couple days later, I finally got it out and flipped through it, and I too got really excited. There are so many awesome recipes in this book, and the layout is great. It tells you the timeline of your meal (2 hours before, you can start doing task #1, 1 hour before, you can start doing tasks #2 and 3, 40 minutes before… you get the idea), it tells you how much of each ingredient you will need to make the meal for 2 people, 6 people, 20 people, and 75 people. So we can perfectly cook for just the two of us, or we can cook for us and a bunch of friends. Lastly, the recipe itself is in photograph form, so you know exactly what each step looks like, which is such a big thing for a lot of people. And it has super specific instructions, i.e. instead of saying “cook until lightly browned” it says “cook for 16 minutes.” Which is so nice.

Anyway, while flipping through it for the first time, we marked a bunch of the recipes we wanted to try first, and then went to the store to pick up ingredients for a couple meals this week. The coolest thing was that because we had bought a chicken at the farmers market a couple weeks ago, cut it into pieces, frozen the pieces, and made broth out of the carcass, we had almost all of the ingredients we needed for these meals. First up was saffron risotto with mushrooms. I have never made risotto before, and was a bit nervous about it, because it’s one of those things that seems like it might be easy to mess up – overcook, undercook, underseason, overseason… etc. But because the instructions for these recipes are so specific, I had no fear!

Saffron Risotto with Mushrooms

Serves 2


2 1/2 cups chicken stock (can be replaced with vegetable stock)
1 pinch saffron strands
1 1/2 Tbl olive oil
1/4 white onion, finely chopped
2 Tbl white wine
1 cup risotto rice, also called arborio rice
2-6 white mushrooms (it all depends on how big your mushrooms are and how many you want on your risotto)
1 tsp butter
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp (maybe more) fresh lemon juice


Put all of the stock into a sauce pan, cover, and bring to a simmer.

This is the weird part, where I wish you could see the cookbook so you could see the photos. Make a little envelope out of tinfoil, put the saffron threads in it, and toast them in a pan over medium heat for one minute. Don’t le it burn! Remove from the pan and let it cool.

In a large pan or pot, heat the oil over medium heat, then add the onions. Once they’re soft, but not browned, add the wine and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. When most of the wine has cooked off, add the rice and let it cook for 3 minutes, stirring all the while. Add one ladle-full of stock, and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often to keep it from sticking. Pour the rest of the stock into the pot. Quickly chop the saffron and add it to the pot. Cook the rice for 16 minutes (what precision!), stirring frequently.

While the rice is cooking away, wipe the mushrooms clean with a paper towel, and slice them as thin as you can. You can use a mandolin if you’ve got one, or just a sharp knife. Put them in a bowl and set aside.

When the rice has absorbed the majority of the liquid and is a little al dente, add the butter, and then the parmesan. Stir until the rice is nice and creamy, and season it with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Spoon the risotto onto plates and top with mushroom slices, and enjoy!