This lightened-up version of the comforting Italian dish calls for wild mushrooms instead of heaps of cream, butter, and cheese. The mushrooms add a gourmet touch without extra weight for your holiday packing or your waistline. Whichever mushrooms and herbs you use, the trick to exceptional risotto is to stir slowly and continuously after each addition of broth, which helps release the starch and gives the dish its creamy nature, with or without cheese.
Mushroom miscellany Look for dried chanterelles or morels, or blends that include more budget-friendly porcini or oyster mushrooms. Feel free to add fresh wild or cultivated mushrooms—even sliced button mushrooms are a toothsome treat, though fresh chanterelles would be wonderfully indulgent. Simply sauté them in olive oil, sprinkle them with salt and minced tarragon, cook gently for 5 to 8 minutes, until tender, and serve on top of risotto.
Broth pointers Homemade vegetable or chicken broth is best since the broth is one of the strongest flavours in this dish, but you can also use commercial vegetable broth or quality bouillon cubes or powder. The soaking liquid of the dried mushrooms is essentially a quick mushroom broth, which reduces the amount of additional broth required. And, if you want to travel extra light, use dried herbs instead of fresh.
If the rice isn’t tender after 20 minutes, increase the heat slightly. If you’re running out of broth, the heat is too high. But don’t worry, you can add a little extra water or wine to stretch the remaining broth if needed.
In medium heatproof bowl, pour 4 cups (1 L) boiling water over dried mushrooms. Cover and let stand at room temperature for at least 20 minutes.
In medium pot, heat broth to just below a simmer. Into pot of broth, strain mushroom soaking liquid through sieve lined with cheesecloth. Reserve drained mushrooms. Add pepper to broth and salt to taste; it should be fairly salty, since the rice will absorb much of the salinity, but if using commercial broth, check the amount of sodium it contains before adding moreu2013u2013you may not need any at all. Cover and keep warm.
In heavy-bottomed skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add diced shallot and cook for 4 minutes, until softened. Add rice and stir to coat for 1 minute. Add wine or vermouth and drained soaked mushrooms. Stir for 30 seconds to deglaze pot.
Add 2 ladlefuls of warm stock to rice and stir until absorbed. Add half the chives and tarragon (if using dried herbs, add all the chives and tarragon) and continue adding a ladleful of broth at a time until rice is al dente, about 20 minutes, stirring slowly but continuously after each addition until broth is almost absorbed before adding more. Taste and add salt, if necessary.
Top with remaining fresh chives and tarragon and optional sauteu0301ed fresh mushrooms and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
These crab-stuffed portobello mushrooms can do double duty as a fancy starter for a casual dinner party or a light main course on any given night. Meaty and umami-rich portobellos serve as a holder for a light-tasting seafood salad. Gills begone Even though the gills of mushrooms are edible, they will darken and discolour everything they touch. Besides, after you scrape out the gills, you’ll have more room for stuffing. And don’t discard the stems; they can be saved and used when making veggie stock.
Serving saucy lentils in squash halves is a sure-fire way to elevate your plant-based menu. And, yes, the whole bowl is edible, skin and all. If desired, you can add dollops of Greek yogurt or sour cream. Spice of life Garam masala, a blend of spices traditionally used in Indian cooking, usually includes cardamom, black pepper, cloves, nutmeg, fennel, cumin, and coriander. It’s great on roasted meats and vegetables.
“Germans do potatoes in general very well,” says Canadian expat Chris Gilles, who now lives in Munich and has celebrated many an Oktoberfest there. “Knödel seem kind of rubbery. You don’t really think it’s potato when you first see it, but it’s tasty.” But he might be surprised to find that this alive -inspired version of Bavarian potato dumplings is made with a combination of potato and cauliflower, because as anyone who’s eaten cauliflower gnocchi knows, the low-carb vegetable is a great way to lighten up starch-heavy foods (and Biergarten menus). Happy Knödelfest! The original version of these snacks are so popular that it even gets its own food fest: Knödelfest, which happens in September in Austria, about a 1 1/2-hour drive from Munich. If alive threw a Knödelfest, these dumplings would definitely be on the menu, served simply as snacks with sliced radishes and fresh parsley or dill, or topped with butter, beer gravy, or mushroom sauce. The dumpling test You can test one dumpling by shaping it and then boiling it before shaping the rest. If the water is lower than a boil and it still falls apart, add more starch to the batter before shaping another ball and testing again.
This dark beer-marinated chicken uses the convection setting on your oven to create a crispy skinned bird. Convection cooking circulates air around the meat, crisping it like rotisserie without needing a spit or a lot of oil, similar to an air fryer (which you can also use!). If you don’t have a convection setting on your oven, you can simply bake the chicken for longer at the same temperatures as below, until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 F (74 C). You can use any dark beer, but our pick is, obviously, something German. Oktoberfest barbecue You can also grill the whole chicken on a barbecue—which makes for an impressive presentation and a gorgeously crispy bird—but it’s best to spatchcock it first (take out the backbone) so it cooks more evenly and quickly. Make it fast! If you don’t want to make an entire chicken—or if you want your dinner to cook faster—use this marinade (without stuffing the chicken cavity) on chicken breasts, thighs, or iron-rich chicken livers instead.