Smoked-Gouda Risotto with Spinach and Mushrooms
Winning recipe--Chef Charles Dale, Renaissance Restaurant, Aspen, Colorado. Charles' tips: Any combination of mushrooms will work. Use cold chicken stock (even though simmering stock is typically used in risotto) to prevent splattering. Make sure there's some liquid left in the risotto; in fact, it should be pourable because the rice will absorb it as it sits. Always salt mushrooms after they are sautéed, or the salt will pull out their natural water and they'll poach.
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Renaissance Restaurant, Aspen, Colorado