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  • Written by Madelaine Bullwinkel

Wild Mushroom Risotto





1 quart mushroom stock (see Basic Techniques)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

1 tablespoon olive oil

6-8 ounces fresh wild mushrooms, cleaned, stems trimmed, sliced

2 tablespoons minced shallot

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/3 cup white wine

1-1/3 cup arborio rice

2 tablespoons minced Italian parsley

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese

kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste



Prepare mushroom stock and bring one quart to a simmer.


Melt 1 tablespoon butter with oil in a deep, heavy, skillet. Saute the mushrooms over medium high heat until they lightly brown.  Remove and reserve them.  Add remaining tablespoon of butter and saute shallot in hot fat until it begins to wilt.  Stir in the garlic and continue stirring another minute.  Deglaze the pan with wine and cook to down to a syrupy consistency.


Stir in the rice and half the mushrooms. Add 1 cup hot stock and half the parsley.  Simmer rice over very low heat stirring as frequently as possible.  When the moisture is absorbed, add another cup.  Continue until the rice is tender and the consistency is creamy, about 20 minutes.


Off the heat fold in the remaining mushrooms, parsley and cheese.  Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.


YIELD: 4 servings as first course or lunch entree

6-8 servings as a side dish

  • Written by Madelaine Bullwinkel

Risotto withSpicy Green Olives




Spicy Olives:

½ cup green olives, pitted

¼ teaspoon cracked red pepper

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 quart  chicken stock

Yellow peel from ½ lemon

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 cup Spanish onion, finly diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup arborio rice

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Sea salt the freshly grated white pepper

Freshly grated Parmesan, to taste




Chop up the olives, sprinkle on the cracked pepper and fold in 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Leave to marinate while cooking the risotto, or overnight if working the day before.


Heat the chicken stock to a simmer, adding the lemon peel to infuse the hot broth.


Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy 4 quart saucepan.  Stir the ground cumin in the oil for 30 seconds before adding the onion and garlic to cook slowly for 5 minutes.  Add the rice, stirring to coat the grains with oil for 2 minutes.  Begin adding the stock, 1 cup at a time waiting for the liquid to be absorbed before adding more.  When the rice is fully cooked and creamy add the the olive pieces (without the oil) and lemon  juice.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Serve with a liberal grating of freshly grated Parmesan, have more available at the table.


Yield: 4 servings.

  • Written by Madelaine Bullwinkel

Persian-Style Rice with Cinnamon and Pistachios





4 quarts water

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 cups basmati rice

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 egg yolks

1 cinnamon stick

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup dry roasted, unsalted pistachios, chopped




Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Bring water to a boil.  Add the salt and rice and cook at a slow simmer for 10-12 minutes until the rice is just cooked through.  Drain and rinse the rice under warm water.


Lightly butter the bottom of a shallow baking pan.  Combine 1 cup cooked rice with the egg yolks, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1 tablespoon hot water. Spoon this mix over the bottom of the pan and press it flat into a layer.  Toss the remaining rice with salt and pepper to taste.  Drizzle on remaining butter and cover the crust layer with this loose rice mixture.  Insert the cinnamon stick into the rice.  Cover and bake for 20 minutes.


Remove the fluffy rice leaving only the pressed layer in the bottom.  Return the pan to the oven for another 5 minutes. Take out the cinnamon stick and season the loose rice with ground cinnamon.  Fold in the pistachios and keep the rice warm in a serving dish.


Remove the pan from the oven.  Let the pale brown crust cool for 5 minutes, then lift off and place pieces on top of the soft rice.  Serve immediately.


Yield: 4-6 servings as a side-dish


  • Written by Madelaine Bullwinkel

Creamy Pumpkin Risotto





1 quart Rich Vegetable stock (recipe follows)

2 cups fresh pie pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut in ½” cubes

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ cup Spanish onions, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup arborio rice

1 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds, coarsely chopped

¼ cup + freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste




Heat the stock to a simmer.  Add the pumpkin pieces to cook while making the risotto.


Heat the oil in a heavy 4 quart saucepan.  Sauté the onions for 2 minutes, stir in the garlic for 30 seconds.  Add the rice and coat the pieces in the hot fat.  Pour in the wine and turn up the heat to cook off the liquid rapidly.  Over medium-low heat stir in the hot stock in three installments waiting for the rice to absorb the liquid before adding more.  At the end of this 20 minute or so period the rice will have become softened and creamy.


Off the heat stir in the tender pumpkin pieces.  Fold in the pumpkin seed pieces and cheese.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Pass more cheese at the table.


Yield: 4 servings

  • Written by Madelaine Bullwinkel

Lemon Rice





1 tablespoon channa dal

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

2 green chili peppers, seeded and minced

2 cups long grain rice (Texmati or basmati)

2 teaspoons salt, divided

3 tablespoons freshly grated coconut or 2 teaspoons dried

unsweetened coconut flakes

2-1/2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, torn

2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice




Pick over the dal.  Rub in a dry towel to get rid of loose powder. Bring 1 quart of water to a boil while proceeding with directions below.


Heat oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat.  Add the dal, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, chiles and rice.  Stir until all the grains of rice are covered with the mixture.  Continue to stir-fry for another 5 minutes over low heat.  Add 1 teaspoon salt.


Add boiling water, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let the rice stand for 10 minutes.


Gently stir remaining salt, the coconut, 1/2 of the cilantro and lemon juice.  Place rice in a serving dish and garnish with remaining cilantro.


Yield: 4-6 servings

This recipe is adapted from one taught by Asian cooking specialist Ruth Law.