Story behind this Recipe:
I found this recipe on the internet a few years ago, and I've adapted it slightly. It was posted by a wonderful cook whose name I have unfortunately lost. Eat it as often as possible to maintain those love handles.
1 cup raw arborio rice
3 1/2 - 4 cups hot stock- use fresh meat or vegetable stock if possible, but canned or powdered stock if necessary
1/4 cup heavy (double) cream
1/4 cup armagnac or other brandy- I've also used Madiera
1/4 stick butter
2 small shallots, minced
1/4 cup minced wild mushrooms (I've used morels and ceps, both fresh and dried. If using dried mushrooms, soak in hot water for 20 minutes before mincing)
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated pecorino romano or parmesan cheese (optional)
Melt butter in a medium heavy saucepan until it foams. Add shallots and sautee until translucent, then add mushrooms. Toss for a few seconds to coat mushrooms with butter, then add rice and stir. Add the brandy and stir. When the liquid is mostly absorbed by the rice, start adding stock. (This part requires attention and patience- pour yourself a glass of wine and put on some music). Stir in stock 1/4 cup at a time, adjusting the heat so that the risotto bubbles gently but doesn't scorch. When the liquid is nearly absorbed, add more stock. Continue this process until the rice is just cooked (you may use slightly more or less stock than the amount given above). The texture should be thick and creamy but not soupy or sticky. When the rice is done, remove from heat, stir in the cream and add nutmeg and seasonings, adjusting to taste. Top with grated cheese.
This risotto is delicious as a side dish with roast game or poultry, but I usually eat it in bowls as a decadent main course.