Among our many Disney Adventures, we’ve been lucky enough to sail aboard Disney Cruise Line multiple times. There is absolutely nothing like a cruise with DCL. The staterooms are spacious, the entertainment is fantastic and, of course, there is SO MUCH FOOD!
Even though there is plenty of great food to sample onboard, there is one “never miss” dining experience aboard every Disney ship. Of course I’m talking about Palo. We make a point to visit this elegant, adults-only restaurant at least once on every sailing. And one of our regular “go-to” menu items is their Wild Mushroom Risotto. So, when we found this recipe, we were thrilled to be able to recreate it in our kitchen.
Now, you’ll be able to make it in yours!
Let’s hit the galley!
The really good news about this recipe for Palo’s Wild Mushroom Risotto is the ingredients are pretty easy to find. Most should be easily obtained in your local grocery store and several others might be in your pantry right now!
- The one, possible, exception to the rule might be the Dried Porcini Mushrooms. Most stores do carry them but they could be a little difficult to find. If you are having difficulty tracking them down, you can find them here.
Even Mushrooms Need To Hydrate
The first step to creating our Wild Mushroom Risotto is to bring the Porcini Mushrooms back to life. Since what you’ll find will probably be a dried version of these mushrooms, we’ll need to re-hydrate them.
To do this you’ll want to add the Vegetable Stock to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Next, place the porcinis is a small bowl and pour the hot stock over them, making sure the mushrooms are completely covered. Steep for about 30 minutes then remove the mushrooms using a slotted spoon. Strain the stock and reserve for later use.
The Risotto Method
I know the title of this portion of this Disney Dish may sound a little hokey but it’s an actual term. There is a definitive method for making a risotto. It’s a little labor intensive in that you will need to be constantly babysitting your rice dish during its preparation. However, once you learn the technique, you can use it for a variety of different rice dishes. The ingredients you can add are nearly endless but you’ll follow practically the same plan every time.
Enough talking, let’s get “Risotto-ing”
To start our Wild Mushroom Risotto, we’ll first want to saute our more common mushrooms. For this, you can use and style you prefer. I like Cremini Mushrooms so that’s what I used.
Add the sliced mushrooms and a tablespoon of oil to a medium-sized saute pan of medium-high heat. Cook the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until they’ve released their moisture, browned slightly and are tender. Then season with a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper, remove from heat and reserve.
Next, add the Chicken and Vegetable Stock to a medium-sized pan and bring to a boil.
While the stock is heating, place a large pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Add the Butter and the remaining tablespoon of oil. Once the butter has melted, add the chopped Onion, Leek and Garlic. Sweat the vegetables until they become somewhat translucent and fragrant.
Now it’s time to add our Arborio Rice and half of our Chopped Parsley to the dish. You’ll want to stir to coat the rice with the oil and butter. This will help lightly toast the rice and get it prepared for our Risotto.
The next step is one that is a standard in the “Risotto Method”. That’s adding a bit of wine to get the cooking started. So let’s get to it.
- One of the best things about adding wine to any dish is that you’re bound to have some extra left in the bottle. Soooooo…why not a little for the Disney Dish and a little for the Disney Chef! After all, you’re the one doing the work. You should be rewarded!. Make it a “Risotto Party”!
First, add both the Porcini and Cremini Mushrooms to the pan and add the wine to deglaze the pan. This is when the stirring begins. From this point you’ll want to be stirring the rice almost constantly.
Once the wine has been mostly absorbed, you’ll want to lower the heat to medium-low and begin adding the stock. Ladle the boiling liquid in about 1/2 a cup at a time and continue to stir. You will gradually see the rice begin to absorb the liquid and begin to plump. Once the liquid appears to be mostly absorbed (like in the photo below), add another ladle of stock and continue to stir.
- All this stirring may be a pain but it’s really important for any risotto. Adding the liquid and stirring the rice makes two things happen. Obviously, it begins to cook and soften the rice as it is absorbed. It also releases the rice’s starch which help create the “sauce” you find in all risottos. It’s also why you should use Arborio Rice for any risotto. It has the right starch content to make the dish you expect.
After somewhere around 15 – 20 minutes of adding stock and stirring, you’ll want to give your Wild Mushroom Risotto a taste test. It actually shouldn’t have a tremendous amount of flavor at this time. This is mostly to test the texture of your rice. A perfect risotto will be al dente. So, you want it to be a bit “toothsome”. If you taste it and it’s a little “crunchy”, you’ll want to keep adding stock and stirring until you find it is mostly soft with just a little bite to it.
Adding the Good Stuff
Once your Wild Mushroom Risotto is done cooking and has reached the right temperature, it’s time to add my favorite ingredient (well, maybe second favorite to the wine), the cheese.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the Shredded Parmesan Cheese and remaining Chopped Parsley. Stir to combine and season with Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper to taste.
- As you may know, I LOVE CHEESE! I added about an extra 1/4 cup. If you decide you want to do something similar, be sure to do it before you add the salt. Since the cheese tends to bring a little saltiness with it, you’ll want to be careful to make sure the dish doesn’t become overly salty.
Time to Serve!
Once the cheese has completely blended and you’ve seasoned your Wild Mushroom Risotto, you will want to get it to your guests fairly quickly, before the rice “overcooks”.
Place a couple of spoonfuls into a bowl and top with more shredded or shaved Parmesan Cheese (if you can find Parmigiano Reggiano, use that) and a couple of Fresh Basil Leaves. Serve immediately and enjoy!
This Wild Mushroom Risotto recipe brings a little taste of your last (of future) Disney Cruise right into your own home. The rice is delicate yet hearty at the same time. Meanwhile, the mushrooms bring a wonderful “earthiness” and the cheese provides a luxurious richness. It’s rustic but elegant all at the same time. Kind of like Palo, itself.
Make this dish to pass the time until your next Disney Cruise!
Wild Mushroom Risotto from Palo – Disney Cruise Line
6 – 8 Servings
For the Risotto
- 1 oz – Dried Porcini Mushrooms
- 3 cups – Low Sodium Vegetable Stock
- 4 cups – Low Sodium Chicken Stock
- 2 cups – Sliced Fresh Mushrooms (I used Cremini)
- 2 tbls – Olive Oil – Divided
- 1 tbls – Unsalted Butter
- Medium Onion – Chopped
- Medium Leek – White Part Chopped
- 2 – Garlic Cloves – Minced
- 4 tbls – Fresh Italian Parsley – Chopped – Divided
- 16 oz – Arborio Rice
- 2/3 cup – Dry White Wine
- 1/2 cup – Shredded Parmesan Cheese
- Kosher or Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper – To Taste
- 1/4 cup – Parmesan Cheese – Shredded or Shaved
- Fresh Basil Leaves
- Heat the Vegetable Stock in a small saucepan until boiling
- Place the Dried Porcini Mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with the boiling stock. Let steep for 30 minutes
- Remove the mushrooms from the stock and set aside. Strain the vegetable stock and reserve
- Combine the reserved Vegetable Stock and Chicken Stock and place in a medium pan. Bring to a boil
- Saute the Fresh Mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of oil until lightly browned and tender. Season lightly with salt and pepper and reserve
- Place a large pan over medium-high heat and add Butter and remaining tablespoon of Oil.
- Once the butter has melted, add the chopped Onion, Leek and Garlic and saute until semi translucent and fragrant
- Add the Arborio Rice and 2 tablespoons of the Chopped Parsley to the pan and stir to coat with the oil & butter
- Add Fresh and Porcini Mushrooms then deglaze the pan with the Dry White Wine. Stir until the liquid is mostly absorbed
- Next, add a ladle of the heated stock and stir until the liquid is mostly absorbed
- Continue the process of adding a ladle of stock at a time and stirring until the rice is al dente (mostly tender but with a light bite to it)
- Remove from heat and add the Shredded Parmesan Cheese an remaining 2 tablespoons of Chopped Parsley. Stir to combine
- Season with Salt & Pepper, to taste
- Serve in a bowl topped with Shredded or Shaved Parmesan and a couple Fresh Basil Leaves
- Serve Immediately
Be sure to check out our other Disney Dishes