We've eaten many tasty things at New World Bistro Bar since it opened in Albany earlier this year -- and here's one of the things we keep coming back to.
Is New World's "No Crash" Mushroom Risotto actually a risotto? It's made with brown rice, so we're not sure. But who cares! We've been too busy scarfing it down to decide on another term.
We love the dish's deep earthy flavors. And even though it's creamy, it doesn't make us feel weighed down after eating it. We like to pair it with a salad for what we'd like to think is a reasonably healthy dinner.
Curious about the "no crash" part of all this, we called up New World chef Ric Orlando to ask him a few questions about the dish.
Why the name "no-crash"?
Because it's made with full grain brown rice. When my father in law was living with me he had type II diabetes and I put a lot of time into researching into the sugar and flour culture and the crash people experience.
I realized white rice is a culprit. I read about the Chinese restaurant syndrome -- you know where you eat a lot of white rice but you're hungry an hour later. I know if I eat a lot of white rice I'm ready to crash after I eat.
How do you make risotto with brown rice? Is it really risotto in the technical sense?
Well, I was scolded by an Italian once for calling it risotto, but risotto is really a rice dish and I think as an American chef I get to take liberties with phrases the way jazz musicians do.
When Jay-Z does the Star Spangled Banner -- but does it his way -- is it really the Star Spangled Banner?
What kind of mushrooms are in there?
It's a forest blend of dried mushrooms -- dried porcini, a little shiitake, cremini, oyster, portobello and then a blend of seasonal mushrooms. Right now chanterelle and trumpets are in season.
This is a great time for mushrooms -- all the weather that's been bad for tomatoes has been great for fungus. And here's a trick with the mushrooms -- they're not just sauteed, they're roasted in a convection oven. Mushrooms absorb whatever you cook them
in, so if you cook them in oil it can add a few hundred calories. So we roast them and they give back the oil and they're just perfect.
The dish feels healthy when we eat it -- how close are we to the truth?
I think it's absolutely healthy. It's got a little cream but I'm not one of those people who thinks that good cream is unhealthy -- never was, never will be. It's good mushrooms, whole grains, a fair amount of good fat omega 3's.
The recipe is in my book.
New World Bistro Bar
300 Delaware Ave
Albany, NY 12209
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