Truffle Mushroom Risotto Stuffed Baked Apples

Truffle Mushroom Risotto Stuffed Baked Apples Recipe

This is an upscale version of risotto that you could offer as a side dish (or main vegetarian course) on Thanksgiving. I love including lightly sweet ingredients in savory dishes, so I came up with the apple and mushroom risotto. I used Jonagold apples, brown mushrooms and truffle butter. 

I think making individual servings give a more elegant look to the dish, so I nested the luxurious risotto in baked apples. The apples almost turned into apple sauce which paired beautifully with the risotto. 

Ingredients

Yields: 6 servings

6 ounces brown mushrooms
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
6 apples (see tips)
¼ cup apple cider
1¼ cups Arborio rice (see tips)
5 cups warm vegetable broth, as needed
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper, freshly cracked
¼ cup Emmentaler cheese, freshly grated
4 tablespoons truffle butter (or regular butter)
2 tablespoons heavy cream


Directions

Baking the apples:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Stem the apples, then cut off the top third of them. With a melon baller (a serrated grapefruit spoon would also work fine), starting from the top of each apple, carefully carve out a "container", removing the core as well. Peel the remnant pieces of apples and coarsely chop, discarding the seeds. Set aside.

Melt 1½ tablespoons truffle butter in a small saucepan; brush the inside of the apples with the melted butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place the apples in a baking dish and pour 1 cup warm vegetable broth into the bottom of the dish. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes until the apples are tender. Remove the foil and bake for a 15 more minutes.

Transfer the apples to a serving platter. Gather the liquid from the bottom of the pan and reserve for making the risotto.

Cooking the mushrooms:

Cut the mushrooms into quarters, lengthwise. 

In a large deep pan, add 2 tablespoons oil. When it's hot, add the garlic. Cook for about 1 minute. Keep the temperature at a high heat. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook for 3-4 minute until shiny. Season with salt. Transfer all the contents of the pan to a large platter. Reserve the excess mushroom liquid, if any.

Making risotto:

In a deep pan, heat the rest of the oil. Add the onions and cook until fragrant and tender. Add the rice. Make sure that each grain is coated with oil. Stir until light translucent. Add 3 cups of warm broth, the reserved liquid from the baked apples and apple cider. Stir constantly.

After bringing the liquid to a boil, add the reserved chopped apples and Emmentaler cheese and lower the heat to medium-low; cook for about 15 to 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Check the liquid and periodically add ½ cup to 1 cup of broth (and water if all the broth is used) when all the previous liquid is absorbed. Let simmer for another 15-20 minutes.

When the rice is almost cooked, add the mushrooms and their liquid (if any). Check the seasoning and add salt (if necessary) and pepper. Drizzle with cream and add the rest of the truffle butter. Stir well. Let sit for about 5 minutes. Cover and let sit until you're ready to assemble.

Assembly:

Spoon the truffle mushroom and apple risotto into apple "cups". Serve immediately.

Bon appétit!


Tips

There are many varieties of high-starch rice grains such as Carnaroli, Baldo or Vialone Nano rice but Arborio is probably the most common kind for making risotto.

It's important to keep adding warm stock as the rice cooks. The key is to add the liquid incrementally and never let the dish dry out, or the rice at the bottom will burn.

I used Jonagold apples. I found them at my local store, the Milk Pail market (in Mountaint View, California). They're fairly common in France. I selected this variety because they're large so they could nest a fair amount of risotto. Once cooked, they tasted very sweet and juicy and almost turned into incredibly aromatic apple sauce. You'll notice in the photo, baking the apples almost "undressed" them as the skin was thin and simply fell off the fruit as it was baking. You could also use Golden Delicious apples but they may taste a little too sweet for this savory dish. 

Check out more vegetarian Thanksgiving dishes

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on November 20, 2013.


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