[Photograph: Kristen Swensson]

Mushroom risotto is a fall stand-by in my household. Risotto gets a reputation for being time consuming and difficult to make, but I'm not sure where that reputation comes from. The actual process of cooking the rice takes only about 20 minutes, and while you can sit there stirring the rice with a 100-year old wooden spoon bequeathed to you by your late Italian grandmother, our process is much, much easier.

Our modern method involves only a couple of stirs, none of the tedium of adding broth a ladle at a time, and results in risotto just as creamy and evenly cooked as the traditional method. (You can read up some more on the science here).

To maximize flavor here, we start with dried porcini mushrooms rehydrated in chicken stock, then use that mushroom-infused stock to cook our rice along with sautéed mushrooms flavored with shallots and garlic.

About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.


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