Mushroom Risotto
                            (from America's Test Kitchen)

Cremini mushrooms are sometimes sold as baby bella mushrooms. If they’re not available, button mushrooms make a fine, though somewhat less flavorful, substitute. Toward the end of cooking, judge the doneness of the rice by tasting it.

Serves 6 as main course, 8 as first course.


  2 bay leaves
  6 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
  4 sprigs fresh parsley leaves
  1 oz dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed in mesh strainer under running water
  3½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
  2 tsp soy sauce
  6 tbsp unsalted butter
  1¼ lbs cremini mushrooms, wiped clean with a paper towel, stems discarded, and caps cut into fourths if small or sixths if medium or large
  2 medium onions, chopped fine (2 cups)
  ½ tsp table salt
  3 medium cloves garlic, pressed or minced (about 1 tbsp)
  1 lb Arborio rice (2⅛ cups)
  1 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth
  2 oz Parmesan cheese, finely grated (about 1 cup)
  2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves
  table salt and ground black pepper

1. Tie together bay leaves, thyme sprigs, and parsley sprigs with kitchen twine into a bouquet garni. Bring bundled herbs, porcini mushrooms, chicken broth, soy sauce, and 3½ cups water to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat; reduce to medium-low and simmer until dried mushrooms are softened and fully hydrated, about 15 minutes. Remove and discard herb bundle and strain broth through fine-mesh strainer set over medium bowl (you should have about 6½ cups strained liquid); return liquid to saucepan and keep warm over low heat. Finely mince porcini and set aside.

2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200°. Heat 2 tbsp butter in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When foaming subsides, add cremini mushrooms, 1 cup onions, and ½ tsp salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until moisture released by mushrooms evaporates and mushrooms are well browned, about 7 minutes. Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute, then transfer mushrooms to oven-safe bowl and keep warm in oven. Off heat, add ¼ cup water to now-empty skillet and scrape with wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits; pour liquid from skillet into saucepan with broth.

3. Heat 3 tbsp butter in large saucepan over medium heat. When foaming subsides, add remaining 1 cup onions and ¼ tsp salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened and translucent, about 9 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring frequently, until grains’ edges are transparent, about 4 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring frequently, until rice absorbs wine. Add minced porcini and 3½ cups broth and cook, stirring every 2 to 3 minutes, until liquid is absorbed, 9 to 11 minutes. Stir in additional ½ cup broth every 2 to 3 minutes until rice is cooked through but grains are still somewhat firm at center, 10 to 12 minutes (rice may not require all of broth). Stir in remaining 1 tbsp butter, then stir in mushrooms (and any accumulated juices), Parmesan, and chopped parsley. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper; serve immediately in warmed bowls.