The Kitchen Cauldron

I am, amongst other things, a self-professed Kitchen Witch, and at this time of year nothing satisfies me more than taking out a large cauldron and stirring up something delicious, warming and oh so comforting.  There is much magic to be had in creating a tasty meal for kith and kin and as the nights draw in, a the days get colder it doesn’t take much to get me in the kitchen brewing up a batch of yumminess

Mixed Mushroom risotto

Mixed Mushroom Risotto


This is my favourite thing to cook from Autumn onwards.

With this recipe preparation is key, make sure all your ingredients are ready for the pot before you begin, risotto needs constant attention.

Start by soaking a packet of dried porcini Mushrooms in White Wine warmed on the stove (enough to just cover).  If you have chicken stock in the freezer make sure this is defrosted and Simmering hot.  If using instant, again make enough and leave it simmering close by.  You can never say exactly how much stock you need but its better to have too much so I always make sure I have about 2 pints simmering close by.  Its important the stock is hot!

Then chop your Mushrooms, if you know what you are doing you can pick your own fungi from the wilds but if not leave well alone and forage around your supermarket instead.  I like to use chestnut and shiitake Mushrooms, the colours and textures are pleasing to the eye as wells as the taste buds.  A good couple of handfuls of each, chopped roughly so they hold their shape.

You will also need a good handful of parsley, well chopped, the juice of half a lemon and a good handful (or two if you like it stronger) of grated parmesan of pecorino cheese.

Heat a good few tablespoons of olive oil in a large cauldron and soften a large finely chopped white onion and a couple of crushed cloves of garlic.  Once the onion is soft and translucent (add a couple of diced chicken breasts for a more substantial meal and cook till brown) chuck in your risotto rise (Arborio is best I reckon!).  You want at least a cup of rice per person.

Keep tossing the rice around in the oil until every grain is well coated.  Then, using a sieve, strain the porcini mushrooms and pour the juice into the risotto, stir constantly until all the liquid has been absorbed.  To make sure I drag my wooden spoon through the rice, any liquid will gather in the trail of the spoon, if not you can start adding the chicken stock (use vegetable stock if you are a herbivore!)

Add the stock one ladle-full at a time until all the liquid is absorbed, then add another ladle-ful, stir untill absorbed and so on.  When you think the rice is almost cooked add your mushrooms and stir well, once softened add the soaked porcini mushrooms and parmesan and stir well.

By now the risotto should look thick and creamy, and look like autumn in a pot! Stir in the lemon juice, parsley and a good knob or two of butter.  Serve with extra parmesan and a wedge of lemon.  For a more luxurious touch, drizzle with truffle oil!


Enjoy 🙂 !!



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