Beer risotto with chanterelles and bacon

This weekend I had culinary holidays. Mr. No Onion Please disappeared in a cottage among woods with his friends and that meant only one for me – FREEDOM!!! I could eat whatever I want, without murmurs and complaints – pancakes as a main dish of the day? Yes, please! But, but, but…. the centerpiece of my celebrations is here, a dish that revolves around 2 most hated ingredients of his, onions and mushrooms (on the other hand it also includes 2 of his favs – beer and bacon 😉 ). The autumn is inevitably approaching, and as much as my mood suffers from upcoming darkness, my belly wildly celebrates, as my favorite culinary season begins. There are still some berries and currants available, capsicums, eggplants and courgettes are at their best, first mushrooms appear and soon the pumpkins and my beloved root veggies will star in my dishes! The recipe for basic beer risotto comes from THIS book. I pimped it up with adding some pancetta, thyme and of course chanterelles!!! It is absolutely delicious, it’s such a pity that those great mushrooms are in season for such a short time 😦 The amounts make a generous portion for 2 people. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

butter

250ml risotto rice (eg arborio)
130ml dark, rich beer
80ml double cream
roughly 500ml chicken stock
onion, finelly chopped
2 garlic cloves, finelly chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
salt and pepper
a handful of grated mature cheese such as grana padano, parmiggiano reggiano, pecorino etc

1,5 liters of chanterells, bigger ones cut to pieces, smaller ones left whole
150g of pancetta
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
5-6 tbsp of beer

1. Heat up a tbsp of butter in a pot. Add garlic and onion and saute till golden in colour. Add the rice and mix until it becomes slightly transparent from the fat.

2. Add the cream and simmer slowly, stirring continuously. Once the cream is nearly absorbed add the beer and stir. Yes, risotto is all about stirring – the more you stir the better it is, because the more starch is released. Once the beer is nearly absorbed start to add the chicken stock in small amounts and stir. You will need around 500ml and 15-20 min till rice absorbs everything. So in the meanwhile you can make the mushrooms.

3.  Melt a tbsp of butter in another pot. Add pancetta and cook till crispy. Add the mushrooms and thyme, saute for 3-4 min till the mushrooms soften yet stay tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4. Fish out the mushrooms and add to remaining sauce beer. Heat up till boiling and reduce the sauce.

5. Once your risotto looks ready add the thyme, cheese and 1/3 of the mushroom/pancetta mixture into it, stir for a minute or so.

6. Serve risotto on a bed of mushrooms sprinkled with sauce.

Chicken in creamy amaretto sauce

Not so long ago I was writing how much we like chicken filles stuffed with goat cheese and prosciutto. Well here is another version of this dish and what is really particular about it, is that it utilises amaretto to create really fragrant, delicious sauce. When I saw it on lol foodie I immediately knew I have to make it. Combination of amaretto, chicken, goat cheese and cured ham sounded peculiar and I knew it will be delicious. I decided to change the recipe slightly, I used shiitake mushrooms from Lapland and made the amaretto sauce based on cream instead of stock. I served the chicken with mashed potatoes and honey roasted root vegetables. It was a really memorable dish and definitely we will be making it often.

INGREDIENTS:

3 chicken breast halves, lightly pounded

Salt & freshly ground black pepper

6 tbsp fresh goat cheese

3 thin slices of prosciutto

4 tbsp butter

several tbsp of flour

150g shiitake mushrooms

200ml single cream

1 tbsp chicken stock concentrate

2-3 tbsp Amaretto liqueur

chopped thyme

1.  Season both sides of the chicken filles with salt and pepper. Spread each chicken breast half with 2 tbsp of goat cheese and top with 1 slice of prosciutto. Roll the chicken into a tight cylinder. Tie with kitchen twine or bind with skewers.

2. Melt 1 tbsp of butter over medium-high heat in a pan. Add the mushrooms and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Remove the mushrooms to a plate, and set aside.

3. Dredge each chicken “roll” in flour. Add the remaining butter to the pan. Once melted, add in the chicken rolls.  Fry for several minutes turning the rolls from time to time and in the meanwhile keeping the pan covered. Remove the chicken to the plate with mushrooms.

4. Take the pan off the heat. Add the cream, chicken broth concentrate and bring the pan to the heat. Bring it to the boil and scrape to deglaze all the bits from the bottom of the pan. Add amaretto and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced. Return the chicken and mushrooms to the pan, turning to coat in the sauce and heating through. Serve with chopped thyme.