Monday, August 31, 2009

Lobster mushroom, sweet corn and watercress risotto

This is the best time of year. The weather is up to its typical late summer bipolar antics, and while I still have sweet Silver Queen corn down here in the Valley (thanks to sunny days), the mountains are cooling off enough in the evenings that lobster mushrooms have made their way into my neighborhood fancy grocery store.

Scott had a bee in his bonnet for some lemony chicken and risotto, and even though those are a springtime jones, such is his wantlessness that I tend to cater to his every (infrequent) craving. And despite the fact that our garden is a cornucopian money-shot of nightshades (six tomato varieties for a dozen plants total, four chile varieties and an eggplant), this third trimester heartburn started kicking in today, and I just didn't feel like one more helping of spaghetti Margherita (with a masochistic craving for extra chile flake).

I melted some butter in the pan while I thawed some homemade chicken stock (frozen in June), and sweated a quarter of a tiny red onion with two minced garlic cloves. I added a drib of olive oil to prevent the butter from browning and added one fist-sized lobster mushroom, sliced and broken into bite-sized pieces. I tossed in a couple handfuls of arborio rice and stirred it around, doing the "making risotto" thing until time to add a glass of chardonnay (now that I'm getting late in the pregnancy, I'm not afraid to taste the wine that goes into my cooking). I added splashes of the rich chicken stock, stirring lovingly, and then added an ear's worth of corn cut fresh from the cob.

A few fat pinches of lemon zest went in at the end, along with some fresh thyme and a few handfuls of chopped watercress. The peppery, nasturtium verdure of the watercress slapped the sleepy, smalltown white carbs right in the kisser, the mineral parsley gave it some backbone, and a sprinkling of crumbly fat and salt Parmigiano Reggiano gave it cheeks.

Enjoy with a crispy pear cider, or I suppose a nice Gewürztraminer, if you had one laying around.

28 comments:

denise said...

Wow, this looks so beautiful. I don't think I've ever eaten a lobster mushroom, but I want one now...along with everything else here. I wish someone was making some lobster mushroom, sweet corn and watercress risotto for me right now.

Peter G said...

How I miss your brilliant creations!! Love the whole recipe Heather!

Eric Hensley said...

I saw the lobster mushrooms at the farmers market on Sunday and they looked like daunting alien spores. Looks awesome!

Foodycat said...

Delicious!

As it happens, my word verification is fiano, and I think a nice Sicilian fiano would be just the ticket to go with this.

anno said...

Oh my, this looks really really good-tasting. I haven't even had coffee yet, but I'm thinking I wouldn't mind some of this for breakfast, maybe even with the glass of chardonnay.

very culinary said...

Creamy risotto. Mmm hmm. Not nearly as complicated as some people think. Just be ready to stir.

Holy heck ya! YUM.

Bellini Valli said...

I do have some Gewürztraminer lying around so wouldn't this be perfect:D

No Recipes said...

I saw some lobster mushroom show up at WF the other day, but at $30 a pound, ended up passing. Does it taste like lobster or is it just the color?

I have a couple ears of corn that are looking for a home, so I think we may be having risotto for dinner.

Matt said...

brilliant. This looks gorgeous. Great recipe as usual. Just thinking of doing a risotto tonight actually - have some chanterelles I might use.

Brooke said...

I'm about to admit my ignorance. I have never seen a lobster mushroom before. You have titillated my curiosity.

Looks delicious, as always.

Heather said...

Nice looking risotto!

SHM said...

This looks delicious, and I enjoy your blog!

peter said...

I made a similar thing last week but with actual lobster. All this rain has made for some great shrooming this summer- I have an excursion planned soon. But I don't know if these grow around here.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

This looks gorgeous, Heather. Man, I can think of nothing better in terms of preggers comfort food. I forgot just how bad that third trimester heartburn can be.

I made a killer oyster-mushroom/onion strudel last night that I'll be posting tomorrow. Mushrooms just rock in my book.

TKW said...

This looks amazing! I want to make it and I don't even like risotto...or so I thought?

kyouell said...

The peppery, nasturtium verdure of the watercress slapped the sleepy, smalltown white carbs right in the kisser, the mineral parsley gave it some backbone, and a sprinkling of crumbly fat and salt Parmigiano Reggiano gave it cheeks.


I expect the food to be good, but when the writing is just as mouth-watering I'm ecstatic! Write once a year, but write like this, and I'm still a subscriber.

Have you ever read Sweet|Salty Kate? Not a food blog, but her writing is just as nummy as yours.
http://www.sweetsalty.com/sweetsalty/

BTW, as I went to get that link I found that my toddlers had taken their salami sandwiches apart and had crumbled the cheese & smeared the salami slices around the room. There's probably about 500 lessons in that but the one I'm taking away from it is that I shouldn't go play on the computer and leave them alone with their food. :-(

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

This sounds so good! We are so lacking good mushrooms in these parts. I don't recall ever even having SEEN a lobster mushroom!

We Are Never Full said...

ok this look beautiful. corn is everywhere in our parts and we've been trying to find something more interesting to do w/ it (on the 2 occasions we actually cooked in the last 3 weeks). i love this. the sweetness of the corn and the mushrooms in the risotto- oh yeah baby.

Lo said...

There you go -- taunting me with your PNW mushrooms again. *so jealous* Looks like the perfect risotto to me, though -- the sweetness of the corn and the pepperiness of the watercress. Oh, my.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Very beautiful risotto. I wonder if I could put corn in my risotto wtihout the hubby complaining.

~lifedramatic~ said...

Long time reader, first time commenter here.

I love your writing. Your food imagery is orgasmic. Thank you for giving us this pleasure. Hope the labor and delivery goes smoothly. You should be having that little bugger soon, no?

I know I don't speak only for myself when I say that I'm going to be insanely sad if you don't continue to find time to post your creations for us after the baby is born.

Yeah, I've never had kids, so I can say that!

Charlene

http://lifedramatic.blogspot.com

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Damn, that looks good. And healthy, too, more's the horror... ;)

Just followed you on Twitter.

Barbara said...

What a super dish! I've never had lobster mushrooms but the combination of ingredients in your risotto is to die for.

Fresh Local and Best said...

Heather, I am new to your blog. If you've already had the baby, congratulations! I hope you and the baby are doing well.

I wanted ask how lobster mushrooms taste. I'm kicking myself for not buying it when I had the chance on a visit to the San Francisco Ferry Building Farmers Market. They were selling it for $10/lb. I returned home in NYC to find them for $30/lb. Oh well, I'll be back in SF at a future date.

Manggy said...

Oboy! I had NO idea that lobster mushrooms even existed. More indications for me to make my way to where you are so we can eat tons of good food :) Your writing is brilliant as always! :)

tinyangryone said...

I miss your bloggings. Can you please have your baby and come back already? :)

Allison Jones said...

Yes yes yes this is the best time of yeah, especially in this town.

Super Yoss said...

I love to eat our Indonesian Traditional and Modern Foods. If I find blog about food, I want to taste them! All of them. But . . . arggghh (crying loudly) I only able to watch those magnificent picturessss...