Surprise the troops with something different.
You will need:
50 g (2oz) dried porcini mushrooms
400 ml (14fl oz) boiling water
125 g (4½oz) butter, softened
2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
800 ml (1 pint 9fl oz) chicken or vegetable stock
salt and freshly ground
400 g (14oz) risotto rice
200 ml (7fl oz) white wine
500 g (1lb 2oz) flat mushrooms, sliced
8 tblsp freshly grated
parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve
4 tblsp chopped marjoram or parsley
squeeze of lemon juice
1–2 tbsp mascarpone (optional)
Place the porcini mushrooms in a heatproof bowl, pour over the boiling water and leave for 20 minutes until soft.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).
Melt 25g (1oz) of the butter in a large casserole dish or ovenproof saucepan on a medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for 6–8 minutes or until soft and turning golden. Meanwhile, pour the stock into a separate pan, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and
leave to simmer on the hob.
While the onions are cooking, drain the porcini mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid. Roughly chop the mushrooms and set aside, then strain the soaking liquid (to remove any sand or grit) and add to the simmering stock. Season this liquid with salt and pepper.
Add the chopped porcini mushrooms to the onions and cook, stirring frequently, for 1–2 minutes. Next, tip in the rice and gently stir-fry for a further 2 minutes.
Pour in the wine, then bring to a simmer, stirring as the mixture heats up, and cook for 2–3 minutes or until the wine has evaporated. Pour in the simmering stock, stirring to combine, then bring to the boil, cover and bake in the oven for 10–12 minutes or until just al dente.
Meanwhile, melt 25g (1oz) of the butter in a frying pan on a medium heat, add the flat mushrooms and fry, stirring occasionally, for 3–5 minutes or until softened and lightly golden. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Remove the risotto from the oven and add the grated Parmesan cheese and remaining 75g (3oz) butter, then use a wooden spoon to vigorously beat everything together. Stir in the fried mushrooms, along with the marjoram or parsley, lemon juice and mascarpone (if using). Serve immediately with extra Parmesan on top