Episode 7. The Wine-ification of Gavan – Part Two



Serves 4

1 cup Arborio rice (Short grain Italian rice typically used for risotto)
1 cup white onion – fine dice
2 tbsp olive oil (light flavoured so as not to over-power the risotto)
1/2 cup white wine (whatever you’re drinking)
1 quart vegetable stock or mushroom stock – warmed in a saucepan on stove
1 cup Chanterelle mushrooms – cut in half lengthwise
1 cup Yellow Foot mushrooms (Another Chanterelle variety)
1 tbsp good quality mild olive oil to finish (optional)
White pepper

Chanterelles hold up well in risotto because they’re a meaty ‘shroom meaning they’ll hold their texture vs. breaking down.

Begin by sauteing the mushrooms. Preheat a large skillet on medium high heat for 1 minute. Drizzle 2 tbsp olive oil and saute the mushrooms separately for 4-5 minutes or until soft. Season with S&P. Set aside until the risotto is cooked.

Next, preheat a large sauce pan on medium heat for 30 seconds. Add 2 tbsp olive oil and saute the onions for 2 minutes, stirring. You don’t want to brown them just soften them. When they start to become translucent add the rice. Stir. Keep stirring the rice/onion mix until the rice becomes stiffer and starts to stick to the bottom of the pan, 2 minutes. Toasting the rice before adding in wine brings the starch out of the rice which helps give it a creamy texture.

Add the white wine and reduce until the wine has been absorbed by the rice, 2-3 minutes approx. Stir occasionally.

Start adding the warm stock 1 ladle at a time, stirring frequently ensuring the rice is not sticking to the bottom of the pan. Once the rice has absorbed the stock add another ladle and continue to stir frequently. If the risotto is boiling turn the heat down to a simmer.

TIP: As the stock reduces it becomes more concentrated and saltier so if you’re using canned stock or store-bought stock, choose a low-sodium varitety or add in a little water while you’re heating it up to dilute the salt.

NOTE: Making a quality risotto needs patience so don’t just add a lot of stock at one time. By adding 1 ladle at a time, letting the rice absorb that and stirring you’re releasing the starch from the rice which thickens the risotto and gives it that creamy texture.

Keep adding the broth until the rice is cooked with a very slight bite to the center of the grain when chewing.

From the time you add the first ladle to actually finishing the dish is approx 15 minutes.

Once risotto is cooked remove from the heat and fold in the sauteed mushrooms. To get a richer flavour finish with a drizzle of a good quality mild olive oil.

NOTE: If you want to add cheese do it now along with the mushrooms. Grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese works great in risotto. Herbs also add another dimension to risotto. Rosemary, thyme, tarragon or chervil would be great. Fold the herbs in now (at the end) so you don’t lose their color.
TIP: Another great tip is when you’re prepping your herbs, throw the stems into your homemade stock to add another dimension for your risotto.

Taste and season with S&P. And if you just happen to have a white truffle….well you know what to do with it! Not to worry if you don’t have a truffle, just use truffle oil to finish the dish.

Total cooking time, approx 25 minutes. Scott paired this with a 2007 Pneu Pinot Noir, which added a lovely velvety finish to our dish. Absolutely brilliant!

Thanks to Chef Kevin Miller and the Villagio Inn & Spa for hosting our cooking segments, sharing wonderful recipes and for the beautiful unexpected white truffle!

Thanks to Scott Lewis of V Wine Cellar for our delicious wine pairings and great Irish hosting.

Thanks to Lou and Bobbie Kapcsandy for their outstanding hospitality. Their wines are truly amazing! Read more about Kapcsandy here.

If you’re heading to Napa, you must visit Yountville and say hi to these great guys—tell them Vegucating Robin sent you!


All recipes are made with the finest quality farmers’ market whole foods, natural and non-processed ingredients as much as possible.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

kathy January 19, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Robin the wine stuff looks great but please get back to your vegan meals. We love your show. good luck and keep up the good work

Kim S January 21, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Do you cook the rice first or add it in dry?

Gavan January 21, 2011 at 3:04 pm

You add it dry. You’re cooking it with the broth.

Gavan January 21, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Hey Kathy, we’re getting back to the kitchen next week where we belong. Thanks so much for the support.
Hope all’s well. Gavan.

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