I’ve been really lucky lately placing in several recipe contests. Everything from seafood, to salsa to wild rice and now my cantina style mushroom risotto. I’ve won money, cookware, products and an assortment of accolades, but nothing compares to the rewards of meeting up with old friends and some that take you by surprise. The Kennett Square Amateur Mushroom Festival Cook-Off did just that.
Long-time friend Chera flew in from Texas to take first prize with her umami bomb mushroom soup. We have known each other since 2011 when we competed at the Beringer Great Steak Challenge Cook-Off. It was fun to host Chera and share KSQ with her. And then there was Emily. She took me completely by surprise. I last saw her in 2007 when she was graduating from Taft. Taft was the school where I used to work. This was her first competition and I was just thrilled to reconnect with her. She lives in KSQ, so we have plans to gather and you can be sure I will be mentoring her when it comes to food sport. What a win.
Now on to my winning recipe. This Cantina Style Mushroom Risotto with Brown Butter Royal Trumpet Scallops is everything you want in an easy, earthy delicious dinner or appetizer. Not a traditional stir until your arm falls off risotto, the arborio rice simmers in a mix of buttery mushrooms and fresh salsa while you prepare the trumpet scallops. The scored and seared mushrooms really do look like sea scallops bathed in a nutty brown butter. In fact, several folks attending the festival asked me if they were seafood.Print
5 ingredients and 30 minutes to the best Mexican inspired mushroom risotto
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
8 oz. mixed mushrooms, (shitakes, maitake and oyster) plus 3 to 4 large royal trumpets
1 cup arborio rice
1 (12 oz.) container fresh tomato salsa
1 ½ cups hot water
2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro plus additional for garnish.
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add sliced shitake and torn maitake and oyster mushrooms, cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms release some liquid, about 2 minutes. Season mushrooms with salt and pepper.
- Add 1 tablespoon of butter. Stir in rice; cook for 1 minute or until rice is coated with butter. Add salsa and hot water; bring to a boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid. Reduce heat to maintain a low simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally near the end of time to make sure rice is not sticking to bottom of pan.
- Meanwhile, prepare royal trumpet mushroom scallops. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a small pan over medium heat. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, swirling the pan, until brown bits begin to form. Remove from heat and set brown butter aside.
- Slice royal trumpet mushrooms into 1-inch scallops. You will need 12 scallops. Score cut sides in a cross-hatch design. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet (I use cast iron) over medium high heat. Add mushrooms, cut side down. Spoon half the brown butter over top. Cook for 3 minutes or until golden brown. Turn and cook other side, about 3 minutes more, basting with remaining brown butter. Season trumpet scallops with salt and pepper.
- Stir chopped cilantro into risotto. Spoon risotto onto 4 serving plates. Top each with 3 scallops. Drizzle with the brown butter in the skillet. Garnish with cilantro.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: main dish
- Method: stove top
I just love my hometown mushroom festival. Here is another look at the event and one of my favorite oyster mushroom recipes. Have a great day.