It seems as if every food blogger and his or her cousin has a variation on a classic mushroom risotto recipe. Well, here's mine: I grew the mushrooms myself. And not in some damp forgotten corner of my basement or due to some shocking transgression in personal or domestic hygiene. I grew them in my own kitchen, on purpose!
My little foray into urban farming is thanks to an innovative and earth-friendly company called Back to the Roots. (No, I am not being paid to say that.) Their grow-your-own mushroom kit, made out of recycled cardboard and coffee grounds, lets you grow up to 1 1/2 pounds of gourmet oyster mushrooms in your very own house. You don't usually find this type of mushroom fresh in stores because they are so perishable. Intrigued? So was I; that's why I told them I'd stop by their booth at the D.C. Fancy Foods show, only I over-scheduled myself and never made it.
I felt so bad I contacted the company to see if they'd like me to review their product on my blog, and they did me one better: They sent me one kit to review and one to giveaway. Lucky you! I'll choose one reader at random to win, and I'll tell you the rules at the end of this post.
|How cute is that?|
It works like this: You soak the "soil" overnight, put it back in its box, and then mist it twice a day. In 10 days or less you'll have a crop of scrumptious, ready-to-cook oyster mushrooms. For the first few days I didn't think anything was going to happen, and then, all of a sudden they just exploded. My crop was ready in about a week. Check it out:
|The timing between the first and second photo? Overnight!|
Take 2 cups of oyster mushrooms (or any other flavorful mushroom of your choice) and saute in butter until they release their liquid and it evaporates. Season lightly with salt and pepper; set aside. In a saucepan, warm 4 cups of chicken stock (or vegetable stock for a vegetarian version). Keep this warm. In a sauteuse, saute 1 minced shallot in a tablespoon of butter until translucent. Add 1 1/2 cups of arborio or other short grain rice, stir. Add 1/4 cup of dry white wine, bring to a boil and reduce by half. Now comes the part where you need to be patient. Add the warm stock, 1/2 cup at a time, and stir constantly until completely absorbed. Continue until the rice is soft but still has a bit of tooth to it - it should take about a half hour. Stir in the mushrooms, 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped chives.
Mmm, I bet you want to win that kit right about now, huh?
1. Leave a comment telling me what you'd make with the oyster mushrooms if you win
2. Tweet the giveaway, and come back and tell me you did
3. Become a Tasty Trix follower, and let me know you did. (If you already follow me let me know!!)
You get one chance for each of the above, for a total of three chances to win. I'll pick the winner using Random.org next Thursday, September 8, which just so happens to be my birthday.