Ahhh, mushrooms! Is there any one single ingredient that lends itself better to a wind variety of appetizer options? I think not. Or maybe it's just that I love mushrooms.
Since the Sunday Small Bites gang at SlowTalk.com has been assigned mushrooms, I began playing out in my head all the potential "new" ways of using them in an appetizer. I considered, and discarded several dozen ideas. Mostly because, after research, I realized someone else had already thought of them. Especially anything that involves using a mushroom as a cup to hold other items. You could write an entire cookbook on stuffed mushroom recipes. Oh, wait...someone has!
It was during my contemplation of stuffed mushrooms that I suddenly had the brainy idea of using something else as the cup to hold the mushrooms. And thus was born
PORCINI RISOTTO in PROSCUITTO CUPS
Soak ½ cup dried porcini mushrooms in 2 cups very hot water
Spray bottom side of a mini-muffin tin with oil
Cut pieces of prosciutto into roughly 4-5 inch pieces and wrap around the bottom of each muffin cup. You may want to do two layers for complete coverage, but don’t do more than two. Don’t worry about being perfect. Rustic is the look you are going for.
Broil in oven until prosciutto cups begin to harden, but not burn.
Remove tray from oven and transfer cups, right side up, to a thick layer of paper towel to drain and cool.
Drain and reserve porcini water.
Chop porcini into small pieces.
Cook risotto according to your favorite method, using olive oil, minced onion, minced garlic, any other spices you may fancy, the porcini soaking water and added chicken broth if necessary.
Mix in chopped porcini, and ½ cup fresh grated parmigiano
Fill cups with risotto mixture, top with grated parmigiano and stick back under broiler just long enough to begin browning cheese.