Slimmers’ Wild Mushroom Risotto

This is an oven-baked risotto with the deep, fragrant flavour of mushrooms. It’s extremely creamy and luscious but – can you believe it? – it contains no cream, no butter and, what’s more, no cheese. The secret of all this lies in one simple ingredient – low-fat evaporated milk. Hard to believe, I know, but try it and see.

Serves 2-3

This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book Three.

Slimmers’ Wild Mushroom Risotto
 ½ oz (10 g) dried porcini mushrooms
 8 oz (225 g) fresh mixed mushrooms, such as dark-gilled open-cap, chestnut or girolles
 6 fl oz (175 ml) carnaroli rice (use a measuring jug)
 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
 7 fl oz (200 ml) dry Madeira
 7 fl oz (200 ml) Carnation Light (evaporated semi-skimmed) milk
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
You will also need a 2½ inch (6 cm) deep baking dish, with a diameter of 9 inches (23 cm).


First of all, give the dried mushrooms a quick rinse in a sieve under cold, running water, then place them in a heatproof bowl and pour 1 pint (570 ml) boiling water over them. Then just leave them to soak and soften for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the fresh mushrooms into chunks – not too small, about ½ inch (1 cm), as they shrink quite a bit in the cooking.

Now pre-heat the oven to gas mark 2, 300°F (150°C).

Next, put the shallots and the Madeira into a medium-sized saucepan, bring it up to simmering point and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes, until the shallots have softened and the Madeira has reduced to about 2 tablespoons.

Then remove the pan from the heat, add the fresh mushrooms, stir well and then leave the pan on one side.

When the dried mushrooms have softened, line a sieve with a double layer of absorbent kitchen paper, place it over a bowl and strain them, reserving the liquid. Squeeze them to remove any excess liquid, then chop them fairly finely.

Next, put the rice into the baking dish, along with the dried and fresh mushrooms and shallots, then season well with salt and freshly milled black pepper.

Now whisk the evaporated milk into the reserved mushroom-soaking liquid, pour it over the rice and give it all a good stir.

Place the dish on the centre shelf of the oven without covering, set a timer and give it exactly 20 minutes.

After that, gently stir and turn over the rice grains.

Put the timer on again and give it a further 20-25 minutes’ cooking – when ready, the risotto should be very slightly soupy, and the longer you leave it to stand, the thicker it will get, so, immediately it is ready, remove it from the oven and serve as soon as possible.

Nutritional information
Per serving: 469 kcal, Fat 5.1 g, Saturates 0.1 g, Protein 16.5 g, Carbohydrate 68.6g

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