I've been making risotto for years -- it's one of the first dishes I learned to cook when I was living on my own and I used to make it fairly frequently for friends. Often a mixed mushroom version, similar to the one here, or a tomato basil one that required a bit more effort but looked even nicer on the plate.
Last night I had a fierce craving for a classic mushroom risotto so I came upon this recipe and decided to give it a go. In years past I'd cook risotto in a large saucepan, but after watching many an episode of Hell's Kitchen where I noticed the chefs cooked their risotto in a wide saute pan I decided to try that instead. I don't know how much of a difference the extra surface area made, all I know is that the risotto was fan-freaking-tastic. Creamy, not the least bit gummy, and with a tiny bit of bite still in the rice. I should mention that I now buy my rice at Rube's, an excellent purveyor of grains and legumes, and I was using homemade chicken stock, so I'm sure the quality of the ingredients also contributed to the tasty end product, but my instincts tell me the saute pan is the way to go.
I was recently advised by one of the chefs appearing on CityLine, the show I work for, that I should seek out a wooden spoon with a hole in the centre to make risotto with, as the hole allows the rice to pass through when you're stirring and aids in the texture. If I happen upon one I'll certainly pick it up, but I don't know that it's necessary.
Lemony Mushroom Risotto
Gourmet | February 2001
2 2/3 cups boiling-hot water
1/2 oz dried porcini mushrooms
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1/2 lb small cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Arborio rice (8 oz)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley