I've already admitted to a fondness for rice. I must also fess up to a passion for Italian food. I have no Italian heritage (friend Gina does), I just consider Italian one of the finest world cuisines. If not the absolute finest.
2 cups boiling water
2 rounded tsps (for 2 cups) vegetable bouillon powder
1 shallot, minced
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 tsps butter
1 tsp olive oil (plus 1 tbsp for sautéing the mushrooms)
2/3 cup Arborio rice
1/6 cup white wine
1/2 cup dried, assorted mushrooms
1/8 tsp turmeric
1/8 cup chopped, fresh thyme
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1/6 cup grated Parmesan
4 sprigs fresh thyme to garnish
Prepare a bouillon with the water and vegetable bouillon powder. In a large pot over medium heat, sauté the shallots and celery in the butter and olive oil for 2 min. Add the rice and sauté for 5 min. Add the wine and stir until it's nearly absorbed. Add the dried mushrooms, turmeric, fresh thyme and 1/3 cup of the bouillon and stir, and continue to simmer, until liquid is nearly absorbed. Continue adding 1/3 cupfuls of the bouillon, and stirring, for 25 min. or until the rice is creamy and firm but not hard (you will need to add 1/3 cupfuls of water toward the end). While the risotto is simmering, sauté the sliced mushrooms in the extra olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. When nicely browned, remove from heat and set aside. When the risotto is ready, stir in the Parmesan and the sautéed mushrooms. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with the fresh thyme sprigs. Serves 2.