My second “assignment” at the Secret Recipe Club was the blog “I am a Honey Bee”. I had a lot of fun browsing through its pages, starting on the “About Me” chapter with a list of 25 things about her. A few matched me so well I had to smile:  “I hate the cold, REALLY hate the cold…”   or “I went to Greece, fell in love with everything I saw, ate, smelled, touched…” …. and  “I get frustrated too easily, I’m sorta working on that one”   (good to know I’m not alone in this!  😉

Even though I spent quite a bit of time reading her blog,  it took me about 35 seconds to choose her  Wild Mushroom Risotto.  It is the perfect time of the year for it, plus I had two special ingredients already at home: porcini mushrooms, and home made chicken stock. All I needed was to stop at the store for two more types of mushrooms  (fresh shiitake and white), and I was ready to have some serious fun.   On a small departure from her recipe, I used the pressure cooker to make it, and with this statement I just irritated all serious risotto enthusiasts, but trust me: it is a nice trick to have up your sleeve.  Still, I’ll give you the two variations, as not everyone has a pressure cooker at home.

(Traditional Method)
(adapted from “I am a Honey Bee“)

1 cup very hot water
1/4 ounce dried wild mushrooms, such as porcini
9 ounces assorted fresh mushrooms
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped shallots
1 cup Arborio or rice
8 sage leaves, finely julienned, divided
1/2 cup dry white wine
5 – 7 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
4 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup grated Parmegiano cheese, plus more for serving
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Soak the dried mushrooms in 1 cup of very hot water for 30 minutes.  Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon, chop them finely.  Filter the water through a sieve to remove any grit, and add it to the chicken (or veggie) stock in a medium size pan, keep it at a simmer on very low heat.

Chop the fresh mushrooms.   Heat 2  tablespoons of oil in heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until translucent. Add the mushrooms, season lightly with salt and pepper, and cook until tender and all moisture has been absorbed.   Add half the sage and the rice, cook stirring, until the grains are well coated, and start to get some color – 3 to 4 minutes.

Add wine. Cook, stirring, until wine is absorbed by rice. Using a ladle, add 3/4 cup hot stock to rice. Stir rice constantly, at a moderate speed. When rice has absorbed most but not all of liquid and mixture is just thick enough to leave a clear wake behind the spoon when stirring, add another 3/4 cup stock.

Continue adding stock and stirring constantly, until rice is mostly translucent but still opaque in center. Add the porcini mushrooms, and continue cooking until rice is al dente, but not crunchy. Remove from heat, stir butter, remaining sage leaves, and Parmigiano cheese. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, and serve, with additional shaved cheese on top, if so desired.

to print the recipe (traditional method), click here

(Pressure Cooker)

1 cup very hot water
1/4 ounce dried wild mushrooms, such as porcini
4 tablespoons olive oil
2  tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 cup shallots, diced
9  ounces assorted fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 cup Arborio rice
8 fresh sage leaves, finely julienned, divided
3 + 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano cheese

Soak the dried mushrooms in 1 cup of very hot water for 30 minutes.  Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon, chop them finely.  Filter the water through a sieve to remove any grit, and add it to the chicken (or veggie) stock in a medium size pan, keep it at a simmer on very low heat.

In a pressure cooker, heat 4 tbs Olive oil and 1 Tbs Butter. Add the shallots and saute until translucent and fragrant. Add the mushrooms, season lightly with salt and pepper, and cook until they start to get soft.

Add half the sage and the  rice, cook stirring until all grains are well coated with the oil/mushroom mixture (about 3 minutes).  Pour all the hot stock and wine  in the pan, close it, and bring to full pressure. Reduce the heat or use the specific instructions from your pan to keep the pressure constant for 7 minutes.  Immediately take the pan to the sink, run some cold water over the lid to reduce the temperature, and when the pressure is down, open the pan.  If there’s still too much liquid, cook gently, stirring until it reaches the consistency you like.  Test the rice to make sure it’s cooked through, add the tablespoon of butter, the remaining sage leaves, and the Parmigiano  cheese, adjust seasoning, and serve.


to print the pressure cooker method recipe, click here

Comments:  One of the reasons I like the pressure cooker method is the ability to know exactly when the recipe will be ready, as it makes entertaining a lot easier.  I’ve made risotto using this basic method many times, and it never failed me.  In seven minutes, the rice is perfectly cooked, and usually the amount of liquid remaining in the pan is very close to perfect.   My main problem with risotto is taking the picture, I am a bit slow and the rice goes on absorbing the liquid. By the time I am satisfied with the photo, it’s a little passed its prime.. .  😉

This recipe is delicious, no matter the method you choose to make it.  Porcini will always turn any meal into a festive occasion, and I think the sage goes well with it too.

Make sure you stop by “I am a Honey Bee” to check all her other recipes, and if you want to see all other posts in today’s reveal day follow the links by clicking in the icon below (the little blue toad).

ONE YEAR AGO: Tartine Bread: Basic Country Loaf

TWO YEARS AGO: Pumpkin Pie, Light as a Feather

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  1. I had purchased arborio rice and porcini mushrooms (no pressure cooker) a few weeks ago to make risotto (it will be my first time) and this timely recipe is just more incentive for me to actually DO it. 🙂 Thank you. What can I substitute for the white wine as I don’t normally buy it and would prefer not to just for one dish?


    • I would either leave the wine out – it won’t hurt much, or add a tiny squeeze of lemon juice to the stock (I love to use lemon, either the zest, the juice, or both) – and I think it could go well here just to brighten up the flavor a little.


      • Thank you for the help. I think it would make a great side dish to go with some pork chops that I want to make later this week though I do have to pick up some more fresh mushrooms to add to the 4 measly button mushrooms I have in my fridge… maybe some portobellos.


    • Very nice recipe indeed, Celia. IN the pressure cooker method, I find that the texture is creamier, and I use less butter to finish it off. You know, I save calories whenever possible, but try not to affect taste too much.


  2. I love that you included both methods Sally (I don’t have a pressure cooker). I agree; it’s hard to beat warm mushrooms for comfort this time of year – they’re just so satisfying and delicious. But there’s so much more going on with this risotto… the wine, sage, parmesan – it’s got me all aflutter! ;0


  3. Gaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!


    Philistine! Che schifo!!

    What kind of Italian are you, chica??

    Next time do it right, willya? Yeah, it looks cool and you get to brag that you used your spiffy pressure thingy and all that. But you lose street cred AND it doesn’t turn out as creamy. I mean, look at that risotto: it looks more like pilaf, the grains are so separate! It makes me sad, for both you and the poor farmers of the Po Valley who toiled so hard to bring you a products which SHOULD HAVE BEEN TURNED INTO A CREAMY YET AL DENTE DELIGHT USING TRADITIONAL METHODS AND ONLY TRADITIONAL METHODS.

    Not because they’re pedantic about traditional methods (just like I’m not, as you’ve notices). But because THIS traditional method is the only one that does justice to the dish.

    So says this guy who pretends to be Italian on the internet. So there!

    Sheesh. Pressure cooker…..


  4. That sounds delicious!! Looks gorgeous, too! By the way, I loved posting about your blog. Your flourless chocolate cake was INCREDIBLE! I had such a hard time choosing which recipe I wanted to make. Your breads look fantastic and I’m really looking forward to making one of your sourdough bread recipes and a foccacia, I’m definitely a bread lover 🙂 Thanks for such a nice comment on my blog, I’m glad I found yours! I had such a hard time restraining myself from commenting on your blog so I wouldn’t give myself away! haha!!


    • Well, if you need help to start a sourdough starter (now that phrase sounds funny), just drop me a line, I can virtually hold your hand through the process. It’s a lot of fun, trust me!


    • You need to go into the Secret Recipe Club website (link is on my post), and get in touch with Amanda, the main moderator. I imagine they are still taking new bloggers, but the group now is approaching 250 folks, divided in four groups. It doesn’t hurt to try it, though – then you can come an play along!


  5. Oh mu gosh! This is totally making me hungry. To think, I never used to even like mushrooms until just a few years ago. Now I love them. Plus they’re so good for you too. Lovely recipe. BTW, I found you through SRC. I’m also in group D. Nice to meet you.


    • I think sage and mushrooms, particularly porcini, is a great combination –

      apologies for the pressure cooker heresy, I hope your blood pressure was not approaching life threatening levels… 😉


  6. I have been reading a lot about Risotto lately. The addition of mushrooms to this dish is giving me a craving to try my hand at it. SRC has opened up a whole new world of cooking & fun.


  7. I rarely make risotto because of all the hands-on stirring time. I think this is further proof that I need to buy a pressure cooker! I love the mushrooms in the risotto…the earthiness compliments the creaminess so well.


  8. Pingback: Pan-Fried Trout with Mushroom, Sage and Shallots | Seattle Foodshed

  9. Thanks again for posting the link to this recipe on Mimi’s blog – this looks delicious AND it’s a lot less work than making risotto the traditional way, which I do enjoy…. but don’t often make simply because it takes a lot of time!


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