WRITTEN ON February 12th, 2010 BY Meredith AND STORED IN Cheese, Dinner, Italian

Most people are of the mindset that when the cat’s away, the mouse will play.  In this apartment, the cat and the mouse actually enjoy quite a symbiotic relationship.  So really all that happens when the cat is away is that the mouse eats mushrooms.  And olives. In abundance.

My better half gets home tonight after a week in Miami.  He was down there for Super Bowl and stayed through the week for work meeting, missing the lame NYC “blizzard” (I know it was worse outside Manhattan, but in my opinion, the city officials made fools of themselves.  Clearly they don’t like playing second fiddle to D.C. and Baltimore!  The Big Apple is definitely not an always-the-bridesmaid type, so in a flurry of frantic reports, they made a blizzard out of a mole hill).

I was on hand for the Snowmageddon, Snowpocalyptic Blizzard of 2010.  My sister-in-law sweet talked me into going to the new Razzie-worthy Nicholas Sparks picture, forgetting the fact that city schools also had the day off and we were plunging headlong into a sea of teenage girls with Channing Tatum-itis.  After the long walk home in the sleet, I was in serious need of something comforting and warm. The hubster hates mushrooms and olives, so whenever he’s gone I try to get my fill (I’ve plowed my way through a quarter pound of Spanish Manzanillas, for example). I had mushroom and olive pizza while ignoring the Super Bowl.  I had mushroom crostini and a dish of olives for dinner Monday night.  On Wednesday, I had this Snowmatastic bowl of mushroom and pea risotto, while bawling my eyes out over The Time Traveler’s Wife on Pay-Per-View.

Now, it’s Friday, and the snow is melting.  Just in time for my favorite person to get home from a week away.  And while I do love my mushrooms and olives, there is absolutely no substitute for couch time with him.  Which reminds me, I’ve gotta get this place cleaned up.  Must try not to be bitter if he’s tan…


Mushroom Risotto (serves 2)
2 tbsp butter
1 drizzle olive oil
2 tbsp chopped onion
1 cup Arborio rice
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine
1 handful frozen garden peas
4 cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 slices Prosciutto, roughly chopped
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Put stock in a small sauce pan over low heat to warm. In a small, non-stick saute pan, met half of the butter. Add mushrooms, saute about 7 minutes until golden brown.  Season with salt and pepper, saute about 1 minute more.  Add ham and peas, saute until warm.  Remove from heat. In a medium sized sauce pan, heat remaining butter and a drizzle of olive oil.  Sweat onions until they are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt.  Add rice, stir to coat with onions and butter.  Season with a pinch of salt.  Once rice is coated, add wine.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, stirring to allow rice to absorb wine.  Once wine is mostly absorbed, add a ladle full of warm stock.  Stir, allowing rice to absorb stock.  Once stock is almost all absorbed, repeat.  Continue this adding stock and stirring until rice is creamy and still a bit al dente, about 20 minutes. At the last minute, add mushroom mixture.  Stir to warm.  Add cheese, season with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.

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