3 Cheese Quinoa Risotto

Carol contributed this Mark Bittman recipe long ago.

Yield: 4-6 servings.
3/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms
3 tablespoons butter or olive oil, plus more to taste
2 chopped shallots
1 cup chopped shiitake caps
1 1/2 cups quinoa
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine or water
2-3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup each freshly grated Parmesan, chopped Fontina and crumbled Gorgonzola 

Cover the dried mushrooms with 1 cup hot water, and set aside until softened, 5 to 10 minutes; drain, and chop, reserving the soaking liquid. Put the butter or oil in a large, deep skillet or saucepan over medium heat. When it is hot, add the shallots and dried and fresh mushrooms, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shiitakes begin to brown, about 5 minutes.
Add the quinoa, and cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s glossy and coated with butter or oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then add the wine. Stir, letting the liquid bubble away. Add the porcini soaking liquid, being careful not to pour in any sediment.

Start adding the stock about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring after each addition and adjusting the heat to maintain a gentle bubble. When the stock is nearly evaporated, add more. Continue to cook, stirring frequently and adding stock as necessary; the mixture should be neither soupy nor dry.

Begin tasting the quinoa about 20 minutes after you added it; you want it to be tender but not mushy and to have released some of its starch. Once it reaches that stage, after about 25 minutes, stir in the cheeses, along with a little more butter or oil if you like. Stir until the cheeses melt; taste and adjust the seasoning, and serve.


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