Tonight, I’m home with the kids and the husband is out brewing beer with friends. I look forward to nights like this because it means “no-pressure” cooking for me. I wanted to make some sort of risotto…egg and bacon to be exact. Because we had eggs and bacon at breakfast, I went with what I like to think of as my refrigerator risotto. You know, things you have in the fridge that are almost on their way out. I always have leeks and mushrooms in the fridge and the mushrooms are almost always on their way out by the time I do something with them because half of the family (the kids) does not like mushrooms. Have you even heard of such a thing?
Some of you may already know that we eat (mostly) gluten-free because we suspect our son has a gluten intolerance. We have also been advised to cut out casein to test a possible intolerance. It’s been a long month folks. To begin with we’re not milk drinkers but eliminating cheese has been difficult for all of us. There really isn’t a good casein-free substitute out there. So today, as I was thinking about risotto and how to replace the Parmesan and make the dish dairy-free, the tub of Sour Supreme (a non-dairy sour cream substitute) that I had in the fridge came to mind. It has a slight tang that could replace the Parmesan, and it would add a creaminess to the risotto. Surprisingly, it worked. The kids still pushed all of their mushrooms aside but they both ate the rice and leeks and loved the dish.
Mushroom and Leek Risotto
for 3 as a meal, 4 as a side
1 cup of arborio rice
2 cups of button or cremini mushrooms quartered
1 large leek, white part only, split down the middle and cut into half-moons
1/4 cup of onions diced
4 cups of chicken stock or vegetable stock
1/4 cup of vermouth or dry white wine
1 T Earth Balance or other vegan margarine, butter is fine
1 T olive oil
2 T Sour Supreme “sour cream”
Start by heating your stock in a pot. It doesn’t need to be boiling, just hot. Meanwhile, heat a separate, large, heavy-bottomed pot, over medium heat. Once the pot is hot, add the margarine and olive oil. When the margarine has melted, add the leek and onion and cook until both are soft and transparent (about 5 minutes). Add the mushrooms and stir and cook for approximately 5 minutes more. Add the arborio rice and vermouth, cook and stir until the vermouth has evaporated. Add roughly a cup of stock and stir constantly until the stock has been absorbed. Add another cup of stock and constantly stir, continuing in this way until you’ve used almost all of the stock, the rice is soft, and the risotto looks creamy. I always use just shy of the 4 cups of stock and I always test the rice for readiness when I’ve used a little more than 3 cups of stock. The grains of rice should feel firm but tender to the tooth. Once the rice is done, I remove the pot from the heat and stir in the Sour Supreme. Serve immediately