Porcini is the Italian name for the King Bolete mushroom. As far as I'm concerned they are royalty in the world of mushrooms. They're what I reach for first when I want a mushroom focused dish, and I could fill an entire week with my favorite porcini concoctions. One of the best is deep-fried Mac & Cheese, made with provolone, mozzarella, and porcini. Try it.
But today, I'm sharing an easy to assemble pass-around appetizer that never fails to earn raves when I serve it.
1 oz - dried Porcini Mushrooms (Use premium mushrooms with as much white meat as possible).
Prosciutto sliced not quite paper-thin. Enough slices to wrap the bottoms of 24 mini-muffin tin cups.
Olive oil cooking spray
3 T butter
2 T OLIVE OIL
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
1 small to medium onion, finely chopped
2 cups Carnaroli or Arborio rice (whichever you prefer to work with)
1/2 cup dry white wine
4-5 cups chicken or vegetable stock (this is an approximation because the rice will determine how much you need)
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano plus
fresh ground pepper and salt to taste
To create Proscuitto cups:
Spray bottom side of 2 mini-muffin tins with oil.
Cut thin slices 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. Don't take your eyes off them because they can burn before you know it.
Remove trays from oven and transfer cups, right side up, to a thick layer of paper towel to drain and cool.
To make risotto:
Soak porcini mushrooms in 2 cups very hot water.
Drain mushrooms, filtering and reserving soaking water.
Chop porcini into small pieces.
Bring stock to a boil in a saucepan and keep at a simmer for use.
In another pan, melt butter and heat with olive oil. Add minced onion, cooking until they become translucent, then add garlic, cooking to a light golden brown.
Add chopped porcini and rice all at once, cook and stir until rice grains are coated with butter and oil. Add wine. Cook, stirring constantly until evaporated.
Add filtered porcini water. Cook, stirring constantly until absorbed.
Begin adding simmering stock, one ladleful at a time and stirring until absorbed.
When rice is tender, remove from heat and stir in salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup of the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Fill proscuitto cups with risotto mixture, top with remaining 1/4 cup grated Parmigian-Reggiano and put under oven broiler just long enough to barely begin browning cheese.
Serve warm. These are meaty and rich, so as a pass-around you will only need one per guest. If it is an appetizer, serve two per guest. I'll admit that I sometimes make an entire meal of them.
I've made this mushroom recipe many times and tinkered with it as I went. So I'd call it a Home Run.