Downtown Dining Week & Recipe from Bleu

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Bleu Restaurant & Lounge at the Westin has a new chef, and a new fall menu! Chef Kevin Rains shows us how to make his Mushroom Risotto (recipe below).

Bleu is one of the featured restaurants taking part in this year's Downtown Dining Week, from November 17 - 23 in Memphis. For a list of all participating restaurants, visit Downtown Dining Week on the web.

Bleu’s Mushroom Risotto
Chef Kevin Rains

• 3 quarts cold water
• 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
• 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
• 1 stick unsalted butter
8 ounces mixed fresh mushrooms, such as porcini, chanterelle, oyster, hedge hog, portabella, or domestic
• 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
• Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
• 2 cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice
• 1 cup dry white wine
• 1 cup grated Parmesan
• Garnish: shaved Parmesan

Bring water, dried porcini mushrooms, parmesan rind (optional)and peppercorns to a boil in a medium pot. Reduce heat, and simmer gently for 1 hour. Strain stock (you should have 7 to 8 cups); discard solids. Return to pot; cover to keep warm.

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook mixed mushrooms until tender and slightly browned all over, about 3 minutes; transfer to a plate.

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with kosher salt. Stir in rice, and cook until coated, 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine, and cook until almost completely absorbed, 3 to 4 minutes.
Ladle 1 cup reserved mushroom-parmesan (or vegetable or chicken) stock over rice, and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until almost completely absorbed. Continue adding stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly and waiting for each addition to be almost completely absorbed before adding the next, until grains are al dente but not crunchy, about 30 minutes. (You'll probably only use 6 to 7 cups stock. Add remaining stock to loosen the risotto, if desired.)

Remove from heat, and season with salt and pepper. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the grated Parmesan. Top risotto with sautéed mushroom medley, aged balsamic syrup, white truffle oil, and shaved Parmesan. (Optional) Enjoy.

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