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Frugal Foodie Recipe Redux - Truffle Risotto

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Written by Heather Jones   
Saturday, 09 May 2009


For today’s Frugal Foodie Recipe Redux, we’re going to talk about Truffles.  Not the decadent chocolate kind but the earthy, pungent ones that can cost thousands of dollars a pound depending on the variety.  The recipe we’re working with today features Black Truffles and although they are not nearly as expensive as the white truffle it’s still way too pricey for me and I would imagine a lot of other people right now too. 

This recipe makeover is probably one of the easiest that I’ve done and for many food lovers would seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many people don’t know that in certain recipes you can replace truffles with the very affordable…mushroom.  Although, for this recipe we’re not just using your garden variety white button mushroom, this recipe calls for a mushroom that has the same classy persona, and earthy distinct flavor as a real truffle.  We are substituting the Black Truffles with dried Black Trumpet/Chanterelle mushrooms.  Although the Black Trumpet mushroom may be just as hard to track down as a Black Truffle, I can assure you it won’t be half as expensive and the flavor that these mushrooms provide is well worth the effort, much like the almighty Black Truffle.  So let’s get started....

Black Truffle Risotto (view original recipes, add to recipe box )

Original Ingredients                                           Frugal Foodie Substitutions

Olive oil, Onion, & Garlic

No Substitute

Arborio Rice, White Wine & Chicken Stock

Short Grain Rice, White Wine & Water

Parmesan Cheese

No Substitute

Parsley & Butter

No Substitute

Shaved Black Truffles

Dried Black Trumpet Mushrooms


Cooking instructions will remain the same as the original recipe, except for the preparation of the dried mushrooms.

Let’s review the substitutions:

Arborio Rice: This is pretty standard in most supermarkets today and is relatively affordable, but if for some reason you are unable to find it, look for another short grain rice to use.

White Wine: When cooking with wine remember the rule of thumb to only cook with a wine that you would be willing to drink yourself. 

Chicken Stock:  Using chicken stock is preferable because of the added flavor it gives, but if you don’t have any homemade stock, water is a viable substitute, just remember to season the water well with salt and pepper.  Most store bought stocks are loaded with sodium and are expensive. 

Black Trumpet Mushrooms: The main event. If you’re fortunate enough to have fresh, simply chop them up and add them at the end after the last little bit of stock/water is added and before the butter and Parmesan cheese.  If you are using the dried ones, you will have to re-hydrate them by putting them in a small bowl with cool water for about 10 minutes. Traditionally it is said to re-hydrate them in warm water but I find that warm water releases too much of the mushroom flavor.  By using cool water the mushrooms will preserve their flavor.  Once the dried mushrooms are hydrated, chop them up and add them to the Risotto the same time as you would fresh mushrooms. 

And there you have it, deliciously flavored Risotto for the truffle lover without all of the expense.


Last Updated ( Wednesday, 17 June 2009 )
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