Gorgonzola Risotto Cakes with Portobello Mushrooms
Risotto Risotti

These risotto cakes make a hearty, satisfying vegetarian entrée for dinner. The forceful gorgonzola cheese is complemented by the earthy taste of the portobello mushrooms

1 TABLESPOON UNSALTED BUTTER
 ABOUT 1/2 CUP OLIVE OIL
1/4 CUP FINELY CHOPPED SHALLOTS
1 CUP ARBORIO RICE
2 1/2 CUPS CHICKEN BROTH, PREFERABLY HOMEMADE, HEATED
2 POUNDS PORTOBELLO, SHITAKE, OR CRIMINI MUSHROOMS, STEMMED AND FINELY SLICED
 SALT
 FRESHLY GROUND PEPPER
2 OUNCES ITALIAN GORGONZOLA CHEESE
1/2 CUP FRESHLY GRATED ITALIAN PARMESAN CHEESE
  1. Combine the butter and 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium-size, 2- to 3-quart, heavy saucepan with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until the shallots begin to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Be careful not to brown them. Stir in the rice to coat the grains with the fat and shallot mixture, and cook about 1 minute longer.
  2. Add 2 cups of the broth, reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan, and cook until the rice is tender but firm, exactly 15 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  3. Uncover the pan, add the remaining 1/2 cup of broth, the gorgonzola, parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste, and stir to combine with the rice. Allow the risotto to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate, covered, until the risotto is completely chilled, at least 3 hours.
  4. When the risotto is cold, form into small patty-shaped cakes, using about 1/2 cup of the cooked risotto for each cake. (Make 6 smaller cakes to serve 6, or 4 larger cakes to serve 4.) Compress the cakes, as you form them, as much as possible, to reduce the possibility of the cakes falling apart during the cooking.
  5. Over medium-high heat, heat 2 to 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large, 10-inch skillet, preferably one with a non-stick surface (if the skillet has an uncoated surface, you'll have to add more oil to completely cover the bottom). When the oil is hot, add the cakes, as many as will fit in the skillet without touching one another, and cook until brown, about 10 minutes on each side.
  6. While the risotto cakes are cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skllet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper to taste, and cook, stirring, until tender, about 7 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  7. To serve, arrange the risotto cakes on warmed dinner plates and garnish with the mushrooms.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.