I love living in Downtown Sacramento, CA. This city is truly up and coming especially with the new Kings Basketball arena built walking distance from where Katie and I live. One aspect Katie and I love about where we live is the fact that we can walk anywhere. Downtown Sacramento is set up like a grid; almost like the game Battleship. Numbered streets all go in one direction horizontally and the lettered streets all go in the other direction vertically. I have no idea how anyone who is not a tourist can get lost.

The other night we took a Lyft to a local sushi joint and decided to walk home. It was a decent walk home of about 25 min and we decided to walk down a street we don’t normally take. We were passing this cool local book shop called Beers Books and noticed there was a cabinet inside with Katie’s last name engraved in the glass. We decided to walk in and realized there was a cooking section all the way in the back. Our favorite part was that all the books were unique and discounted from the last 20 years.

We bought four books and one was called The Essential Rice Cookbook. Inside were so many amazing rice based recipes from all over the world. Basically, Katie’s dream cookbook since rice is a huge part of her Gluten Free diet.

So for today’s post we made Lemon and Herb Risotto with Fried Mushrooms. I have never made risotto from scratch so I took on this task with some nerves. I soon realized the effort it takes to nurture your risotto into the creamy delicious risotto we all have learned to love, is a lot. The constant stirring for 25-3o minutes was tedious but the results were fantastic! Katie was a little nervous about the pan fried balsamic mushrooms since she does not like mushrooms. Without the mushrooms, the dish would not have been so great and she agreed!

Maybe you will see more rice recipes in the future here on DAM Good Food!

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This dish is naturally gluten free!

Recipe from The Essential Rice Cookbook

Lemon and Herb Risotto with Fried Mushrooms 

1 Litre (32 fl oz) chicken or vegetable stock

pinch of saffron threads

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 leeks (white part only), thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 cups risotto rice

2-3 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley

2 tablespoons snipped chives

2 tablespoons chopped oregano

3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

3 1/2oz mascarpone cheese

30 h (1 oz) butter

1 tablespoon virgin olive oil

6 1/2oz small flat mushrooms, cut into thick slices

1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Pour stock into a saucepan and add the saffron threads. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and keep at a low simmer.

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the leek, cook for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until golden. Add the rice and stir until well coated. Add half the lemon zest and half the juice, then add 1/2 cup of the hot stock. Stir constantly over medium heat until all the liquid has been absorbed. Continue adding more liquid, 1/2 cup at a time until all the liquid is absorbed and rice tender and creamy; this will take around 25-30 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the herbs, Parmesan, mascarpone and the remaining lemon zest and lemon juice, then cover and keep warm.

To cook the mushrooms, melt the butter and virgin olive oil in a large frying pan, add the mushrooms slices and vinegar and cook, stirring, over high heat for 5-7 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender and all the liquid has been absorbed.

Serve the risotto in large bowls topped with the mushrooms. Garnish with sprigs of fresh herbs, if desired.

Enjoy!