Memorable Meals: Risotto-A-Go-Go

by Jenn (eating bender) on June 1, 2011

Sometimes, the best laid plans for a new recipe don’t run as smoothly as you wish they would.

This was not one of those times.

I’ve never met a risotto I didn’t like. I love eating it in restaurants. We even served it at our wedding. But I had never tried making it myself at home. That is, until this past weekend of memorable meals.

The recipe was inspired by Tyler Florence’s mushroom risotto, but we added more to make it ours.

Everything-But-The-Kitchen-Sink Mushroom Risotto

Ingredients (makes 3-4 servings):

  • 4 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 2 large portabella mushrooms
  • 1 Original Brat Hans chicken sausage
  • 20 pieces frozen shrimp
  • 1/2 packet white wine and herb marinade
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated


Heat the chicken broth in a soup pot on the stove and keep warm over low heat. In a separate skillet pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat with 1 garlic clove. Add the rice and stir quickly until it is well-coated and opaque, or roughly 1-2 minutes. According to Tyler’s recipe, this step is what cooks the starchy coating of the rice and prevents the grains from sticking.

Stir in white wine and cook until it is nearly all evaporated.

Oh, and just as I did with the beer in my last post, feel free to keep the leftovers for yourself. πŸ˜‰

Once the wine has absorbed into the rice, the fun begins! With a ladle, add 1 cup of the warm broth and stir until the rice has absorbed it all. Lather, rinse and repeat: Continue to add the remaining broth, 1 cup at a time, until the rice has absorbed it all.

Note: This will take time, so be prepared with some comfy shoes or slippers!

The entire broth absorption process takes approximately 45 minutes. With 15 minutes to go, we threw the mushroom, chicken sausage and shrimp in a pan with the remaining garlic clove and olive oil. We sprinkled all of these ingredients with salt, pepper and the white wine and herb marinade.

We cooked everything in a bit more of the dry white wine (roughly 3 tbsp.) until it looked divine.

I’ll be honest. Just looking at that picture makes me drool.

Once those ingredients are ready (by the way, you should still be adding broth and stirring your rice while they cook!) you can add them to the risotto. At this point, it should be slightly firm and creamy.

Continue stirring for a few more minutes to allow all the ingredients to mesh. Then sprinkle on the Parmesan cheese and cook briefly until melted. Before you know it, you’re ready to serve!

I lost count of the number of times I turned to Bobby and said, “this is SO good!” But I know it was a lot.

Please let me know if you ever try this recipe. I would love to hear what you think! We ended the night on another festive note with red, white and blue ice cream. Otherwise known as chocolate chip topped with raspberries and blackberries.

Can I go back in time and eat this meal again, please? I already can’t wait to make a new batch!

Have you ever made risotto? If so, what has been your favorite recipe?

I’m always open to new suggestions and ingredients!


1 Erica June 1, 2011 at 9:17 am

Yayyy! Risotto rocks! Its one of those recipes everyone thinks is tough to make, but its not! Just time consuming :) Yours looks fantastic (as does dessert). I like throwing asparagus, peas and spinach in mine! And switching up cheese add ins is fun too

2 Megan (Braise The Roof) June 1, 2011 at 9:35 am

Hooray for risotto! I’m so glad you tried it on your own. I always tell people that it’s really a lot more fool-proof than you might think. I love mushroom risotto, but I think my favorite is the beet risotto that I make on Christmas Eve every year- it’s bright pink/red and makes me feel so cheery!

3 brandi June 1, 2011 at 9:40 am

mushroom risotto is my favorite!

4 Casey (The Hippie Health Nut) June 1, 2011 at 10:15 am

I’ve never made it, but I have some in the pantry waiting. I think your post is a sign to get on that…lol

5 The Sometimes Healthy Girl June 1, 2011 at 10:50 am

Wow that risotto looks delicious! I’ve never even attempted risotto as I find it very intimidating. Plus, have you ever watched Hell’s Kitchen? They ALWAYS mess up the risotto. If they can’t hack it, not sure I can. haha :-)

6 Jill Felska June 1, 2011 at 11:28 am

Dear Jenn-

Please bring said recipe to our next monthly girl’s night. It looks amazing. And Bobby should get to have all the fun… πŸ˜‰

I’m officially hungry,

7 Jill Felska June 1, 2011 at 11:29 am

And by should, I mean shouldn’t… Whoops! :)

8 Laura @ prettylittlewords June 1, 2011 at 11:43 am

Oooooooh Jenn, I LOVE risotto! I make quite a few versions (it’s so much easier than people think), but my favorite is tomato basil with TJ’s chicken sausage, then topping it with a few freshly-torn chunks of mozzarella. HEAVEN. I can share the recipe if you’d like! Another favorite is b-nut squash :)

9 Melissa @ TryingToHeal June 1, 2011 at 7:04 pm

I’ve always been afraid to make risotto because it has a rep of being hard! i should try though!

10 BroccoliHut June 1, 2011 at 8:45 pm

I’ve always been too scared to make risotto–maybe I should give it a try?

11 Shannon June 2, 2011 at 1:49 pm

you just made me hungry :)

12 Aunt Diane June 2, 2011 at 10:28 pm

Sounds good! I’ve made butternut squash risotto and beet risotto as mentioned by others and like them both. Yours sounds really tasty and I want to try it!

13 Tori (Fresh Fruition) June 3, 2011 at 2:00 pm

I’ve been wanting to make a risotto for a while now, but I’m so intimidated by it since seeing Hell’s Kitchen! haha!

14 Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) June 4, 2011 at 6:34 pm

That risotto looks perfect – so creamy! Love the dessert!

15 natalie (the sweets life) June 8, 2011 at 11:57 am

i was in chicago last weekend and it was BEAUTIFUL–glad you guys got to have some fun in the kitchen! :) i love making risotto and haven’t in way too long! here’s my fave:

16 Kate A. June 24, 2011 at 12:11 am

I just made this tonight and it was amazing! I did not have your brand of chicken sausage or grill seasoning, so I used different but similar brands. Everything else I did exactly the same. It was delicious! I am allergic to shrimp so I didn’t put any in mine. I put some in my boyfriend’s portion but he said they were not that necessary, so next time I will probably just leave them out and put in extra mushrooms. I made green beans for a side dish and it was an excellent dinner! Thanks so much for the recipe!

17 Jenn (eating bender) June 24, 2011 at 8:08 am

Hurray, Kate! Thank you so much for letting me know that you tried — and enjoyed — it! I agree that the shrimp is not the focal point. For me, it was definitely those mushrooms, so your boyfriend is spot on! Such great feedback — I truly appreciate it. :)

18 Marianne July 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm

I love risotto! One of my absolute favourite dishes, and I will almost always order it when I see it on a menu at a restaurant (assuming I like all the ingredients in it). I also like making it, but not so often simply because of the time commitment. My go to recipe is Jamie Oliver’s basic risotto recipe from his first cookbook, The Naked Chef. It’s pretty much the same as this one on his website:

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