Saturday, September 4, 2010

Memorable Mushroom Risotto

When I saw the Cook's Illustrated "Fall Entertaining" issue on the newsstands, I had to have it. "Memorable Mushroom Risotto" was on the menu tonight along with a simple salad and a grilled steak with herb butter.

Cooks Illustrated takes all the guess work out of cooking. They have tried every possible way to cook a dish, and then they print the best way for all. I have made quite a few risotto's in the past, so I knew this was the kind of dish that needed "help" in the kitchen. That is way I asked the Trout to help and be grill meister for the steak.

I have loved mushrooms since I was a child and was finally old enough to join the family in the spring foraging for morel mushrooms in the forest along the Iowa River near my childhood home. Absolutely love any kind of mushroom prepared in any kind of way, and this risotto is so excellent, earthy, woody tasting. We loved it and and are so happy that there are leftovers!!

Mushroom Risotto by Matthew Card (Cook's Illustrated)

2 bay leaves
6 sprigs fresh thyme
4 sprigs parsley, plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley leaves
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed in fine mesh strained under running water
3 1/2 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons soy sauce
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 pounds cremini mushrooms, wiped clean, stems discarded, cut into fourths
2 medium onions, chopped fine
table salt
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 pound or 2 1/8 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, finely grated
Ground black pepper

The directions for this beautiful risotto are lengthy. After pausing before going further, I decided to do a check on copyrights of recipes. Many years ago, I worked in a college library and learned a lot from the librarian who took me under her wing. It seems that the laws are obscure concerning recipes. Interestingly, I know the laws about copying knitting patterns are very strict.

From what I read this morning, the ingredients can be shared, but sometimes (and that is the operative word), the technique is copyrighted by the author. So, before I go further, I just wish to say that this recipe was exceptional, and if you have a great urge to make it, I suggest picking up the latest "Cook's Illustrated."

Now, if anyone can enlighten me to the rules of copyright regarding recipes, that information would be greatly appreciated.


  1. Sounds great, anything with mushrooms in it is ok for me.
    Thanks for thinking of us.

  2. It just so happens that I picked up a copy of the autumn Cook's Illustrated "special". I couldn't resist it's "siren" call from the end cap at Whole Foods. I don't know the copyright laws but do know that it's hard to tell with recipes. If you change one or two things, some say it's now "your" recipe. I don't agree with that. I always give credit to the source and somewhat abbreviate, wherever possible, instructions. It would be good to know the legalities. In any case, this looks delicious--a perfect fall dish.


  3. Susan, love risotto, love mushrooms, and this recipe sounds the same. Will give it a go! Hope you are still enjoying your stay.

  4. Looks to me like there's a lot of good cooking going on over here. :)

    Our dessert bombed again, rats, it must be because we are not using a blender, we'll try ONE more time and borrow our neighbors blender this time around..gurrrrr

    Our heads are just above water today with this painting project, we'll be finished today, and it looks wonderful.

  5. I love risotto and I love mushrooms - this looks like my kind of dish! The copyright laws re recipes are so strange... you'd think a couple of lawyers wrote them up ;)

  6. I am a big fan of risotto and your recipe sound fantastic; can almost taste the smoothness.

  7. Great recipe! I ran a link to it on my blog. I did a story in which rice came up and your recipe fit so well:

    Best wishes,