Boozy Leek and Mushroom Risotto with Candied Radishes and Walnuts

What you’ll need…

5 cups chicken broth

1 cup cream

2 TSP yellow curry powder

1 TSP cayenne pepper

1 slice pancetta (1/4″ thick, finely cubed)

2/3 cup oyster mushrooms (loosely chopped)

1 TBSP unsalted butter

1 yellow onion (finely chopped)

2 garlic cloves (minced)

1 leek (halved, thinly sliced)

1 cup Steam Whistle Pilsner

2 cups arborio rice

1 lemon (zested and juiced)

1 1/2 cups radishes (trimmed, halved)

1/3 cup cane sugar

1/3 cup water

2/3 cup walnut halves

salt and pepper

olive oil

Risotto is one of those never-fail comfort foods. It’s not nearly as finicky as most people think and a little bit of arborio rice can go a long way when it comes time to feed a group of people. On top of all of that, risotto has a reputation for being quite ‘fancy’. So, the next time you’re having friends over for dinner, you can whip up a filling meal for everyone in one big pan. How rad is that? Pretty damn rad, I say! Also, a little beer in your risotto never hurt anyone, right?

Now, make this for dinner tonight!

First off, place the first four ingredients into a medium-sized pot and heat until it almost comes to a boil. Reduce to low heat to keep nice and hot. While that’s happening, fry up the bits of pancetta in a large, deep pan until they’re nice and crispy. Remove from pan and place onto some paper towel to absorb any excess grease. Next, add the chopped oyster mushrooms to small pan. Let them fry in the pancetta’s fat until golden brown. About 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and set aside for now.

Still using the same, large pan, melt the butter and cook down the onions and garlic on medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Add the sliced leeks to the pan and continue to cook until the onions start to caramelize, about 8-10 minutes. Pour in the beer and let it reduce by half. Now, stir in the arborio rice and let cook for another minute or so. Using a ladle, pour in some of the hot broth, stir and let cook until most of the liquid is absorbed. Continue ladling and stirring until the rice and absorbed all of the broth and has a nice, el dente texture. At this point, stir the crispy pancetta and mushrooms into the risotto until evenly mixed. Finally, add in the lemon juice and zest, some fresh ground pepper (salt if needed) and keep warm until ready to serve.

To candy the radishes and walnuts, first sauté the radishes lightly with a bit of olive oil in a small pan until light pink and tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan, add in the sugar and water and turn to medium-high heat. Let the mixture cook until almost all of the liquid has evaporated, leaving thick, syrupy bubbles. Quickly toss the radishes back into the pan, along with the walnuts and toss evenly to coat. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.

For serving, place a couple spoonfuls of the risotto onto a plate, then top with some of the candied radishes and walnuts. Dinner is served!

Serves 5-6

Total cook time…35 min

1 Comment to “Boozy Leek and Mushroom Risotto with Candied Radishes and Walnuts”

  • Jen December 4, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    I’ve never seen radishes made like this before, it sounds neat!

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