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To help put the Seattle back in Top Chef: Seattle , Voracious is partnering with The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of


Top Chef: Seattle: Make Last Night's Winning Mushrooms

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To help put the Seattle back in Top Chef: Seattle, Voracious is partnering with The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Seattle to provide a local interpretation of the previous night's winning dish. Each week, two chef instructors will choose the best recipe from a pool of student submissions: This week's recipe was created by culinary arts student Aaron Tekulve, who's provided every recipe thus far. "There have been other submissions," The Art Institute's Amy Rocha confirms. " The judges have just preferred Aaron's creativity."

When deep-frying, "how can you go wrong?," last night's challenge winner asked the judges rhetorically. They assured Kristen Kish that even the simplest foods can go horribly awry, which is why her mushrooms and fried onions were so impressive.

Aaron Tekulve avoided the foibles associated with simplicity by creating a far more elaborate dish in homage to Kish's creation. You'll need white wine, shallots, heavy cream and lots of butter.

Aaron Tekulve
Wild Mushroom Risotto with Brown Butter Fried Shallots and Onions Crumb, Mushroom Demi Glace

and Fried Sage

Serves 4


Wild Mushroom Risotto:

8 cups Chicken Broth, hot, more as needed if necessary

8 T Plugra Butter

1lb Fresh Wild Mushrooms (Such as: Chanterelles or Porcinis, if neither are available, Crimini mushrooms are the next best option. Large Mushrooms, sliced; small mushrooms, quartered)

1 Shallot, minced

1 Garlic Clove, minced

1 T Olive Oil

1 C Vialone Nano (if unavailable Arborio Rice)

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 T Lemon Zest

½ C Heavy Cream

Salt to taste

Brown Butter Fried Shallots and Onion Crumb:

4 T Pulgra Butter

2 T Shallot Rings

1 T Yellow Onion, finely minced

½ C Panko Bread Crumbs

½ t Kosher Salt

Mushroom Demi Glace:

1 Gallon High Quality Veal Stock

2 T Pulgra Butter

1 lb Crimini Mushrooms, sliced

1 Yellow Onion, Julienned

2 Garlic Cloves, minced

1 C Red Wine


8 T Grated Parmesan

Fried Sage:

20 Sage Leaves

4 T Butter


Demi Glace:

The mushroom demi glace can be made a day in advance. Melt butter in a medium to large pot (one that holds at least 6 quarts of liquid), add onions and mushroom and sauté until thoroughly golden brown. Add garlic and sauté until tender. Deglaze with red wine and simmer until reduced down to a tablespoon and then add veal stock. Simmer liquid until reduced by half; strain liquid through chinois, return liquid to pot and continue to reduce until it reaches a nice almost syrup like viscosity should be about one cup. Remove from the heat and reserve.

Wild Mushroom Risotto:

1. In a large sauté pan over medium high heat melt 2 T of the butter. Working in two batches, add half of the mushrooms to the pan, season with salt and pepper and sauté until nice and tender and starting to brown; this should take 3 to 5 minutes.

2. Remove cooked mushrooms, add another 2 T of butter to the pan and sauté and season remaining the mushrooms. Once all mushrooms are cooked reserve a ¼ of them for garnishing.

3. To prepare the risotto first bring chicken broth up to a simmer and keep warm. In a sautoir, melt the remaining 2 T of butter with the 1 T of olive oil of medium heat. Add the minced shallots and garlic and sweat until tender, 3 to 5 minutes, do not brown.

4. Add white wine to shallots and garlic and stir until the liquid is fully absorbed. Add rice, stir and lightly toast all of the rice grains. Once rice grains are lightly toasted add white wine and stir until it is fully absorbed into the rice. Using a ladle, add approximately 1 C of hot chicken broth at a time stirring until the liquid is almost fully absorbed into the rice. Continue adding broth 1 C of hot broth at a time while constantly stirring allowing the broth to fully absorb into the rice. Repeat this until the risotto is creamy and the rice is tender but is still firm to bite.

5. Finish the risotto by adding the lemon zest and heavy cream adjust seasoning with salt to taste. The risotto should be creamy and loose, if the risotto starts to tighten add a little more hot stock to keep creamy. Fold the reserved ¾ of the mushrooms into the risotto. When the risotto hits the plate it should spread.

Brown Butter Fried Shallots and Onion Crumb:

In a medium sauté pan over medium heat melt the butter and raise it to medium high heat. Once bubbling add shallot rings and onions and sauté until they and the milk solids become golden brown. Add the panko bread crumb and sprinkle with salt. Stir and toss until the bread crumbs are fully coated in butter and golden brown. Remove from heat and reserve.

To Serve:

Heat the reserved ¼ of the mushrooms over medium heat, keep warm.

Between four plates ladle risotto on the center of the plate, sprinkle each plate with 2 T grated Parmesan followed by the ¼ of sautéed mushrooms.

Sauce around the plate and over the mushrooms just a little with the mushroom demi glace about 1-2oz. Demi glace is a very intense sauce so use sparingly, a little goes a long way.

Top with the butter fried shallots and onion crumb and spread 4 - 5 fried sage leaves around the plate.

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