Best Rice Recipe. Buttery-rich mascarpone cheese adds to the luxurious creamy consistency of this classic Italian dish, while Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and porcini mushrooms add salty and meaty notes. These ingredients worked in concert to earn our Test Kitchens' highest rating. Technically, it's considered a side dish, though some of our staffers find it a delicious entrée. --Recipe by Kathleen Kanen (December 2005)
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms (about 1/2 ounce)
1 (14-ounce) can less-sodium beef broth
1 cup uncooked Arborio rice or other short-grain rice
3/4 cup chopped shallots
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup (1 ounce) mascarpone cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
How to Make It
Combine 1 1/2 cups boiling water and mushrooms; let stand 10 minutes or until soft. Drain through a colander over a bowl. Reserve 1 1/4 cups soaking liquid; chop mushrooms.
Bring reserved soaking liquid and broth to a simmer in a small saucepan (do not boil). Keep broth mixture warm over low heat.
Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add rice, shallots, and garlic to pan; sauté 5 minutes. Add wine; cook until liquid evaporates (about 2 minutes).
Add 1 cup broth mixture to rice mixture; cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring occasionally. Add remaining broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring occasionally until each portion of broth mixture is absorbed before adding the next (about 25 minutes total). Add mushrooms, Parmigiano-Reggiano and mascarpone cheeses, thyme, salt, and pepper; stir gently just until cheeses melt. Serve warm.
If you're making this for the first time, recommend you follow the recipe exactly. Success comes from having everything prepped and ready & having extra warm broth on hand just in case your rice needs it. Always use fresh thyme -- dried would be a sad choice when you consider the expense of the dish. Have been making this since it was called "best rice" in CL's Sep '07 cover feature on excellent recipes. http://www.cookinglight.com/eating-smart/from-the-editors/all-time-best-recipes-00400000041570/page22.html Excellent, rich, complex flavors, worth the time at the stove.
This recipe is really, really delicious, and it's surprisingly rich for a light recipe. I didn't have any mascarpone on hand (neither did my corner grocery), so I substituted sour cream, and I loved the added tang.
Do use low-sodium broth as instructed, or a light broth; I used a full-salt veg broth, and it was a tad salty (but I still enjoyed it greedily).
This one is a keeper.
I made this recipe when I had a container of mascarpone that was about to expire in my fridge. It turned out GREAT. I did use dried thyme which worked fine. But, I needed a little more broth than the recipe called for. So, next time I think I would use more mushroom and water so I can have more mushroom broth. HIGHLY RECOMMEND... great side dish for steak.