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White Truffle Recipes: Risotto with Fresh White Truffles, Pancetta, Chanterelles and Sea Scallops

A creamy risotto with freshly shaved white truffles and Parmigiano-Reggiano is certainly one of the classic white truffle recipes. Although nothing else is needed in this rich and satisfying dish, we added little squares of crispy pancetta and sauteed chanterelle mushrooms to the finished risotto just before shaving the truffles over the risotto. Additionally, we put a large seared sea scallop on top of the dish. If fresh peas or fava beans had been available, I may have been tempted to add some bright green color to the dish, but it certainly was delicious without the peas or fava beans.

There is one thing I would do differently next time. The white truffle could have been shaved more thinly, allowing each piece to have more contact with the hot risotto.

White Truffle Risotto

Ingredients:

6 cups chicken stock, homemade or high quality store bought

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup minced shallot

1 small clove garlic

1 1/2 inch cube pancetta, cut into tiny squares

6 ounces chanterelle mushrooms, cut into bite sized pieces

1 1/2 cups Arborio rice

1/4 cup dry white wine

3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1 1/2 ounces fresh white truffle

4 – 6 large sea scallops

Instructions:

Bring the chicken stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Lower the heat, maintaining a slight simmer throughout the process of making the risotto.

Heat a deep, heavy saute pan to medium high and add the small squares of pancetta. Cook over medium heat until crispy. Remove the pancetta, but leave the rendered fat in the pan. Add olive oil if needed to the already hot pan, and add the minced shallots. Cooking over medium heat, cook the shallots until they are soft and slightly golden. Add the garlic to the shallots and cook just until fragrant, about one minute. Remove the shallots and garlic and set aside. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in the saute pan and add the chanterelle mushrooms. Saute the mushrooms until the liquid has been released, and the mushrooms are very lightly golden. Remove the chanterelles and set aside.

Return the cooked shallots and garlic to the saute pan.  Add the Arborio rice and cook to coat it with oil, until the rice is opaque, about 2 minutes (add additional olive oil if needed).

Add the wine and cook until the wine is completely absorbed. Add 1/2 cup of the simmering chicken stock to the rice, and cook, stirring constantly, until all the stock is absorbed.  The stock should be bubbling gently as the pan is stirred.  Continue adding 1/2 to 3/4 cup chicken stock at a time, stirring after each cup is added until all the liquid is absorbed.  Stop adding stock when the rice is al dente and the risotto is creamy. All the stock may not be used, or slightly more may be needed. The rice will take about 20 – 30 minutes to cook. Be sure not to overcook the rice, or the risotto may become gluey.

Meanwhile, sear the sea scallops in a tablespoon olive oil in a medium hot pan and cook until nicely golden brown on each side, about two or three minutes.

When the risotto is cooked, remove the pan from the heat, add the remaining 3 tablespoon of butter and the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, and stir vigorously. Add the crispy pancetta and the chanterelle mushrooms to the risotto. Serve the risotto in warm shallow bowls. Shave the white truffle over the risotto and top with one scallop on each plate.  Serves 4 – 6.

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