Delicate mushroom risotto

I’ve always been fond of risotto and during a work trip in Rotterdam, Netherlands this was reconfirmed when I had what was the most incredibly delicious mushroom risotto. Since then I have been just dying to cook it. But to cook it like the dish I had in the Netherlands I’ve had to source some special ingredients that I’ve never cooked with before. Not only is this an absolutely delicious risotto it was fun to research and cook. The trick though to any risotto is to keep stirring and use a hot stock so the risotto rice releases its starch which creates the beautiful creaminess that the best risottos have. If you don’t have any speciality mushrooms use what you already have at home.

I hope you enjoy my take on a classic risotto recipe inspired by chefs Theo Randal and Marco Pierre White.

My first attempt at a delicate mushroom risotto with truffle

Delicate mushroom risotto

Recipe: Delicate mushroom risotto
Serves: 2
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Ready in 60 min
Category: Main


  • 3-4tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • White truffle oil
  • White wine
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed over salt
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Rocket leaves
  • 700ml chicken stock
  • 50g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 400g shiitake or wild speciality mushrooms carefully, chopped
  • Slice of black truffle
  • 50g block of parmesan
  • 300g arborio rice
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Warm 700ml of chicken stock. Using hot stock and hot rice before adding the stock will allow the rice to cook evenly.
  2. Carefully chop the larger mushrooms while keeping the texture.
  3. Place the dried porcini mushrooms into 200ml of chicken stock and allow to soak for 20 minutes.
  4. While the porcini mushrooms soak, finely chop the fresh parsley, garlic and shallots.
  5. Grate the Parmesan but keep some back to slice grate over the risotto when serving.
  6. Drain the porcini mushrooms but make sure you keep the stock back for later.
  7. Heat 1 tsp of olive oil and a knob of butter over medium heat and cook of the mushrooms for about 5 minutes to reduce their water and intensify the flavour.
  8. Add the porcini mushrooms and continue to cook for a further 3 minutes.
  9. Add a nice generous glug the truffle oil, seasoning and a sprig of thyme.
  10. Transfer the cooked mushrooms into a bowl.
  11. Then in the frying pan with medium to high heat add 1 tsp of olive oil and a knob of butter and sweat off the chopped garlic and shallots for 2 minutes until they’re sauteed.
  12. Add the rice and keep stirring until the is evenly coated in the oil until the rice is translucent (4-5 minutes).
  13. Add the good splash of white wine to deglaze the rice and stir until it has all been absorbed (2-3 minutes).
  14. Add a small amount of chicken stock (100ml). Stir and allow the stock to be absorbed.
  15. Keep adding stock in small amounts (100ml) while continuing to stir until it is absorbed. This allows the stock to mix with the starch from the rice and create a creamy risotto.
  16. Once the rice is almost al dente pour in the stock used to soak the porcini mushrooms.
  17. Carefully introduce a few shavings of black truffle.
  18. Add the thyme, parsley and mushrooms.
  19. Continue to add the last of the stock while stirring for a further 15 minutes.
  20. Finally, add the parmesan, seasoning to taste and the final two knobs of butter and stir until melted then cover and rest for a few minutes.
  21. Stir before plating the risotto and serve with a topping of rocket leaves, parmesan and a small shaving of truffle.

Use my mushroom risotto recipe Pinterest board of inspiration

I’ve created a Pinterest board with samples of ingredients, recipes for inspiration, presentation tips, videos and photos of my own dish.

Other inspiration

Fondue with friends

This year I will be welcoming in the New Year with friends at home in Manchester. The last year has undoubtedly been a trying year. A year that has seen much change and I welcome all the challenges and change that 2019 will see.

I considered all kinds of recipes and food I wanted to cook for my friends, but a fondue and raclette grill was a clear winner for many reasons. The elves at Amazon kindly delivered an extended raclette grill that includes a fondue pan, grill and twelve raclette grills. I was keen to encourage games and conversation at the table but also have something that would have longevity as with New Year’s Eve, the evening is long. Food that was easy on the washing up was essential, as was the amount of time in the kitchen for me. The fondue and crudités can all be prepped beforehand if not the day before. Additional with the raclette grill and a hot plate for the fondue, the warmth in the food can be maintained throughout the evening. As with a lot of my cooking I really enjoy the research element to recipes and food, finding out what works well and what doesn’t etc but also very much enjoy sharing my recipes.

Fondue and Racelete research.
Fondue and Racelete research.

I wish friends new and old the best of luck for what 2019 brings and I thank you for all that you have done for me 2018.

Food with great friends.
Food with great friends.
Continue reading Fondue with friends

Chicken and vegetable egg fried rice

Last week I enjoyed a lovely Chinese meal out on my birthday in great company. The restaurant was incredible, as was the food. I wanted to eat everything. What I did eat was like nothing else I have had before, but it was the most simple of dishes that really hit my taste buds. A week on and I wanted to make a meal of one of the plates and decided to give Chicken and vegetable egg fried rice a go.

Recipe: Chicken and vegetable egg fried rice
Serves: 2 ½
Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Ready in 40 min
Category: Soup


  • 2 cups of rice, cooked, drained and still warm
  • 1 large chicken breast, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 spring onions, diced
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp dashi powder
  • 1 tsp crushed chicken stock cube
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat the wok until hot.
  2. Add some oil and once smoking add the eggs.
  3. Leave them to whiten before turning and scrambling using a spatula.
  4. Add the diced chicken and cook until it is 90% cooked through.
  5. Add the carrots and onions and keeping mixing in.
  6. Now add the warm rice and break down any large lumps.
  7. Now is the time to practice the wok flick!
  8. Add a few pinches of salt and pepper, the garlic, dashi and chicken stock.
  9. Once mixed add the unsalted butter and a handful of spring onions.
  10. Now add the soy sauce and sesame oil while continuing to combine the ingredients together.
  11. Leave to cook for a few more minutes before serving with a sprinkle of spring onions and chopped parsley as a garnish topping.
Fried rice ingredients prepared in bowls on a tray ready for cooking
The ingredients can be prepared ahead of cooking
A full plate of chicken and vegetable fried rice
A bowl of chicken and vegetable egg fried rice
Chicken and vegetable egg fried rice

PS the restaurant was called Tattu in Manchester.

Research and Inspiration

Grandads carrot soup recipe

A few friends have asked me to share my Grandads carrot soup recipe with them but I decided to share it here instead. It’s a recipe that originates from grandad Callaghan hence the name. Often this Carrot Soup recipe is served for Christmas dinner but great all year round. More recently I make this as a quick start for dinner parties with some homemade bread rolls.

Grandads Carrot Soup - Simmering
Grandads Carrot Soup – Simmering

Grandads Carrot Soup Recipe

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Ready in 60 minutes


  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 lb carrots, peeled and grated
  • 8 ozs potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ pints of vegetable stock
  • White pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp double cream
  • 2 tsp of Paprika
  • 1 tbsp of fennel seeds


  1. In a medium saucepan melt the butter over moderate heat.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and sweat of the chopped onions.
  3. Add the carrots and potatoes and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the vegetables from sticking to the pan.
  4. Add the Fennel seeds and optionally the Paprika to add a slightly smokey taste to the Carrot Soup.
  5. Pour in the vegetable stock and simmer for a further 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
  6. Season to taste with the salt and white pepper
  7. Remove the pan from the heat and either press the Carrot Soup through a strainer placed over a medium-sized mixing bowl or alternatively use a blender directly in the pan (tip: place cling film around the top of the pan and blender to avoid making a mess).
  8. Return the pan to a simmer uncovered until the soup thickens.
  9. Stir in the cream and add more seasoning if necessary.
  10. Serve Grandads Carrot Soup in hot bowls with a swirl of cream and sprinkle of fennel seeds.

If there is excess Carrot Soup consider freezing some in suitable containers to have for a quick meal when such a time arrises.

It’s a pretty straight forward Carrot Soup recipe and I hope you enjoy as much as I do. The hardest part is all the peeling and grating and let’s be honest that’s not that hard! Enjoy on behalf of Grandad Callaghan

Mums delicious brownie recipe aka SharePoint Brownies

I have baked these delicious chocolate brownies countless times using an old recipe my mum shared with me many years ago. I’ve even enjoyed them with many a friend, colleagues & customers alike. I often bake these delicious brownies for customers when I’m delivering SharePoint and Microsoft 365 workshops or deployments, hence they have since become known as SharePoint Brownies or Microsoft 365 Brownies or simply the mum’s delicious brownies! Many have asked for me to share the recipe, so here it is…

Delicious Brownie Recipe

Ultimately delicious chocolate brownies
Ultimately delicious chocolate brownies #SharePointBrownies


  • 140g unsalted butter softened and a small amount for lining the baking tin
  • 200g quality plain chocolate such as Lindt or Hotel Chocolat
  • 200g caster sugar
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract / vanilla paste
  • 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk
  • 85g plain flour


  1. Preheat oven to 180°c
  2. Line a brownie tin with a small amount of butter (7″ square tin is most suitable)
  3. Melt the butter and chocolate on a slow heat and then allow to cool slightly
  4. Mix in the sugar, a pinch of sea salt and the vanilla stopping once the mixture is a little grainy
  5. Whisk in the eggs and yolk one at a time, stirring each time until blended
  6. Add the flour and beat for a minute or so until thickened and smooth
  7. Pour the mixture into tin and bake for 40-45 minutes until a cocktail stick comes out with moist crumbs
  8. Allow to cool and cut into small rectangles slices

I hope you enjoy these delicious brownies (#SharePointBrownies #Microsoft365Brownies).