February 7, 2013

EOD Cellars Wine and Mushroom Risotto

Risotto is one of those dishes that has always intimidated me. Maybe it's all the Top Chef episodes I've watched and the "curse of the risotto" on the show. Anyway, I finally tried making risotto and I realized it's not as scary as I thought! Actually it's pretty easy! As long as you give it lots of "love". This isn't a dish you can walk away from. You need to slowly add broth to the rice and continually stir. But the end result is worth it! Creamy and full of flavor, risotto is a lot like pasta- you can add pretty much any ingredients you would like from healthy mushrooms and spinach to savory bacon and Gorgonzola cheese! 
I used EOD Cellars Basic Blaster Red for this recipe. It's not only great to drink but also to cook with! I first heard of this wine back home at McGuire's Irish Pub, when they hosted an EOD charity event. Since then I have ordered all the varietals of EOD Cellars wine as a present for my EOD husband. 
The company was started by Leon Tackitt, a retired Navy EOD soldier and is based in San Miguel, California. The EOD Cellars wines are affordable, delicious, and the profits go to a great cause: the Wounded Warrior Foundation. Order EOD Cellars wine on their website, along with great gifts like shirts, hats and gift baskets. www.tackittfamilyvineyards.com
Also follow them on Facebook


  • 1 1/4 cups arborio rice
  • 2/3 cup red wine (I used EOD Cellars, Basic Blaster Red 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 3 cups reduced sodium beef broth (or for a vegetarian meal: vegetable broth) 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 lb mushrooms, sliced (variety- I like Shiitake and Portabello)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 4 cups spinach
  • 1 cup Italian mixed cheese, shredded
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper


  1. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan. Add onions and mushrooms and cook over medium heat until cooked down, about 5-7 minutes
  2. Stir in rice then add wine and cook until it all evaporates.
  3. Turn heat down to medium low then add 1/2 cup broth and stir frequently until almost evaporated. Then add another 1/2 cup. Repeat process until all the broth is evaporated and rice is tender about 26-28 minutes.
  4. Mix in tomato sauce, spinach, garlic powder, and black pepper.
  5. Remove from heat and stir until spinach is wilted then add cheese. 
  6. Garnish with additional cheese if desired.  
Don't add salt when you are cooking the onions. The salt will draw out all the water and they will not sweat out and caramelize. Add salt after the onions have cooked down.
 I love using earthy shiitakes and meaty portabello mushrooms in a lot of my dishes.
Also try buying the exotic mushroom blend with oyster, shiitake, and baby bella mushrooms.
Add the red wine and arborio rice, then gradually add broth 1/2 cup at a time. 
Give the risotto lots of love and stir frequently!
Risotto is like pasta: you can add pretty much any ingredient to it. So play around and have fun! There are so many delicious combinations you can come up with.

The final step: finely shredded Italian cheese! Cheese makes everything better!
My EOD husband loves supporting the Wounded Warrior Foundation and we were so excited to find the EOD Cellars wine by Tackitt Family Vineyards, which donates all the net profits from every bottle to the Wounded Warrior Foundation!
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