Cèpes is just the fancy (fancy meaning French) word for porcini mushrooms. This recipe for Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Red Wine Risotto with Mushroom "Marmalade" calls for porcini mushrooms, and the moment I first saw this recipe in Food & Wine, it crept into my dreams, Inception-style, until I couldn't resist the urge anymore and I finally made it for dinner.
This recipe was actually very easy to veganize, the only things I had to substitute were No Chicken broth instead of the regular kind, and Earth Balance for butter. I left off the Parmesan garnish as well. Because I didn't invent this recipe I don't feel like I'm bragging when I say that this was the BEST RISOTTO I'VE EVER TASTED. Seriously, it was mind-blowingly good. I mean, you can't really go wrong when a recipe involves garlic, shallots, mushrooms, and red wine, can you? It actually tasted restaurant quality, which I guess makes sense, as the recipe comes from one of the most famous chefs in the world. I guess I was just surprised that it turned out even better than I had anticipated.
By the way, I found that the key to making a truly amazing risotto, besides using a recipe from someone the likes of JGV, is to imagine the voice of Gordon Ramsay in your head yelling at you about your RIS-AH-TO. Is he ever not yelling at someone about their RIS-AH-TO? Well, he yelled at me the whole time, but the pressure paid off. I think he would have approved of my recipe execution.
Vegan Red Wine Risotto with Mushroom "Marmalade"
(adapted from this recipe by Jean-Georges Vongerichten)
For the Mushroom "Marmalade":
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
3/4 lb. fresh porcini or stemmed shiitake mushrooms (1/2 lb. cut into 1/2 -inch dice, 1/4 pound sliced 1/4 inch thick)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 med. shallot, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. water
3/4 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 Tbsp. Earth Balance
For the Risotto:
5 cups No-Chicken or other vegetable stock
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, minced
1 cup arborio rice (6 ounces)
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 Tbsp. Earth Balance
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tsp. chopped mixed herbs, such as chives, mint and tarragon or rosemary, thyme
1. In a large, nonstick skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. of the vegetable oil. Add the diced mushrooms; season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over moderate heat until tender, 5 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring, until browned. Transfer the mushrooms to a plate.
2. In the same skillet, heat another 1 Tbsp. of vegetable oil. Add the shallot and garlic and cook over low heat until softened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir the cooked mushrooms back into the pan with the shallot/garlic mixture.
3. In a small saucepan, simmer the sugar and water over moderate heat, washing down the side of the pan with a wet pastry brush, until amber, 6 minutes. Add the wine* and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the vinegar and boil over high heat until reduced by half, 12 minutes. Stir the mixture into the skillet and cook over moderate heat until the mushrooms are glazed and most of the liquid is gone, 3 - 5 minutes. Season with salt. (*Note: when you add the wine, the sugar might "seize" up. It was like a big caramel lollipop on the end of my spoon. Don't worry if this happens, the sugar will melt and dissolve as it warms, just continue stirring.)
4. In a medium skillet, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp. of vegetable oil. Add the sliced mushrooms, season with salt and cook over moderate heat until tender and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Stir the mushrooms into the marmalade, then stir in the Earth Balance. Cover and keep warm.
5. In a medium saucepan, bring the vegetable stock to a simmer; cover and keep warm over low heat. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice and cook for 2 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until almost evaporated. Pour in about 1 cup of the hot stock, or enough to cover the rice. Cook, stirring constantly, until the stock has been absorbed, about 5 minutes. Repeat, adding 1 cup of stock at a time and stirring until all of the stock has been absorbed. The risotto is done when the rice is just cooked and suspended in the creamy sauce, about 25 minutes. Stir in the Earth Balance and season with salt and pepper.
6. Spoon the risotto into bowls and top with the mushroom marmalade. Garnish with the fresh herbs and serve.