Updates: Porcini Risotto & Musical Moments

The other day I was asking myself if I really should blog. Later on that same afternoon the answer arrived in the form of beautifully encrypted messages I received from some of my blogging friends (without me asking), which without doubt the answer was: certainly I should. The greatest pleasure is getting to know them and realise that we have made, even if just small, some impact in our lives.

One of the encrypted answers of the last few days was from my blogging buddy piano learner. He posted a video of himself playing Träumerei by Schumann. Please pop over to his blog and have a listen. It’s so beautiful, I’m so proud! I’m delighted about it because I had suggested him this piece. Yes, I’m smiling from ear to ear.

Träumerei, by Robert Schumann, is the most famous piece from his Opus 15, Kinderszenen (Scenes from Childhood). This series is not to be confused with his pieces Opus 68, Album für die Jugend (Album for the Young). While Album für die Jugend are pieces for children to learn piano, there is still confusion if Kinderszenen was meant as pieces for adults to play in reminiscence of childhood or if they are for children as there were some statements from Schumann that suggest that initially he had intended for his children, who would like to play them.

Kinderszenen comprises of 13 pieces which are originally from a larger version with 30 pieces. When his then fiancée, Clara Wieck (later his wife Clara Schumann), finally heard the piece, she was utterly enraptured. Her words were:

It’s true isn’t it, that they belong only to the two of us? I simply can’t put them out of my mind, they are so simple, so heart-warming, so very you.

I too play Träumerei, and I absolutely adore it. It’s a classic in my piano repertoire.

Mushroom risotto

With regards to my food repertoire, risotto with porcini mushrooms is also a classic. I learnt to make it many years ago when I lived in the UK, through a dear Italian friend of mine, my housemate in those days.

Campanini

Dried porcini mushrooms

Chopped onions

Carnaroli risotto rice

Parmesan cheese

Grated parmesan cheese

Ingredients (serves 4):

1 big handful dried porcini mushrooms

1 medium sized onion

1 1/2 cups risotto rice

1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

1 beef stock cube

Parmesan cheese

salt

black pepper

water

Prepare by rehydrating the porcini mushrooms in a bowl with warm water.

Put about 4 cups of water to boil in a saucepan. Add the beef stock cube.

Peel and cut the onion. Heat the olive oil in another large saucepan. Add the onion and cook over very low heat until the onion pieces are soft.

Add the porcini mushrooms to the onions, along with some of the porcini infused water (from rehydrating the mushrooms). Add the rice. Add some salt and black pepper. Stir. Add a small quantity of the beef broth. Stir. Add some more. Stir. Repeat continuously until the rice is cooked. This process of adding broth and stirring helps bring out the starch from the rice, giving the risotto a creamy texture without having to add any cream.

Grate some parmesan cheese. The quantity is optional, as much as you like. Add the Parmesan cheese to the risotto just before taking it off the stove. Stir. Serve and enjoy your meal.

White wine risotto porcini

porcini mushroom risotto

Thank you for reading!

20 Comments

  1. Sunny 2014-01-29 at 20:27

    Hey Sofia, of course you should keep blogging! I love your blog and the day you stop I’d be sad! I’ve never made risotto before. Growing up eating rice, risotto actually always takes a little uncooked to me if you know what I mean 😉 That or maybe I haven’t tried any that is properly cooked!

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-01-29 at 23:33

      Why thank you, I won’t stop, I enjoy it (I think I had a low moment because my camera is off in the Fujifilm hospital). But I love having been able to “meet” you :). Oh I think I know what you mean with the rice,.. I give up making it at my parents because they consider it as uncooked rice floating in broth 🙁

      Reply
  2. Pemberley Cup & Cakes by Rosa 2014-01-29 at 23:10

    Absolutamente, mi risotto favorito en el mundo entero, Sofía! Gracias por compartir un post tan increíble como éste.
    No dejes de bloguear, pls 🙂
    Un abrazo, preciosa!

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-01-29 at 23:30

      También es mi favorito (junto con el de mariscos 😉 )
      Gracias, no lo dejaré, lo paso muy bien. Creo que me he tenido un momento “de debilidad” porque mi cámara esta aun en reparación. Estas fotos son de antes de que se rompió.
      Un abrazo!

      Reply
  3. Guillermina Bósquez Stover 2014-01-30 at 02:57

    Oh, yes, continue blogging, please. Your photos are jewel-like to me. I can never see the imperfections you claim they have! And your thoughts/ideas/musings are so special…

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-01-30 at 18:26

      Once in a while I send one of my posts to sites like Tastespotting, sometimes they publish my photo and post,.. but believe me most of the time they will say something is wrong with the photo. It doesn’t worry me much because in my blog I do things however I want to and with my style 🙂 Gracias Guillermina!

      Reply
  4. Mabel Kwong 2014-01-30 at 10:39

    That risotto looks yummy! It doesn’t look overladen with cheese. A lot of risotto dishes I’ve come across are very cheese-heavy, up until the point cheese is the only thing I taste from the dish.

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-01-30 at 18:27

      Yeah, it’s not overladen with cheese at all, even though I am a cheese-monster 🙂

      Reply
    2. Sofia 2014-01-30 at 18:28

      PS. this risotto tastes like porcini mushrooms, thats the deal!

      Reply
  5. pianolearner 2014-01-30 at 23:40

    That risotto looks very tasty, your photos look so inviting, like a pro. It’s very kind of you to link through to my blog. 🙂 We tend to use spelt for our risottos instead of rice, and always with lashings of parmesan at the end. Don’t ever stop blogging!!!

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-01-31 at 12:07

      It is tasty 🙂 ..well I was really delighted with your Träumerei, thank you!
      Spelt, interesting, need to find some now.

      Reply
  6. That other cook... 2014-01-31 at 09:28

    love everything about this post. Procini risotto is perhaps my favorite risotto aside form the seafood risottos and traumerei has a very special place in my memories when I was a kid (and well into my highs school years) I used to play piano, and I don’t think I ever quite finished learning this beautiful piece, I was a stubborn kid (as I am as an adult), and I would not take piano classes, I refused to be taught by others!, I thought I could figure out the whole piano playing thing by myself… now, I regret that attitude. Even thought I played a good number of classical pieces, I don’t think I was ever too good at it, and my music reading skills were close to zero 🙂 but it was a fun challenge even then!

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-01-31 at 12:09

      Thanks Paul. I learnt piano since I was kid, and to tell you the truth I feel very lucky that I can play it because I love it so much 🙂 You never know, maybe you can play again. I go to piano classes to improve and perfect, and many of my teacher’s students are adults who have begun playing as adults! It’s never too late. Enjoy your new place.

      Reply
      1. That other cook... 2014-01-31 at 19:19

        yeah, i won’t buy a real piano though, I want one of those electronic ones, they are pretty decent and don’t cost that much… a real piano? imagine shipping that internationally? probably cost more than the piano hahaha. You need to post a recording of you playing piano, if you haven’t already done so, I’d like to hear!!

        Reply
  7. cruzccc 2014-01-31 at 17:23

    Me encanta el risotto y este tiene una pinta deliciosa Sofia 🙂 Felicidades por la receta!
    Un besito y feliz fin de semana!!

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-01-31 at 17:24

      Lo es 🙂 Espero que pases buen fin de semana también! Un abrazo

      Reply
  8. dedy oktavianus pardede 2014-02-02 at 16:06

    wow, what a coninsidence, i just made a medley mushrooms risotto with chanterelle, porcini, almond and shiitake mushrooms….
    but i’m using brown rice on it….

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-02-03 at 16:37

      I like you name: medley mushroom, hehe. Seperti enak dan sehat!

      Reply
  9. Dalo 2013 2014-02-02 at 21:34

    Looks great, and I am sure eating it with Träumerei, by Robert Schumann in the background would be a perfect closure to the day. Hope you had a good weekend!

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-02-03 at 16:30

      It does sound like a good closure to the day.
      Here the hot water and heating broke down, as did my computer (my fault for unsuccessfully wanting to install a program for work). Other than that it was a good weekend… A guy came this morning and fixed the hot water and heating. I went to the apple store this morning and they fixed my computer,… PHEW!

      Reply

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