Cheesy Rice with Garlic and Thyme

When I got this month's Fine Cooking, I knew I was going to be kept busy for a few weeks!  There were so many recipes that I wanted to try.  The first one to peak my interest was the Cheesy Rice with Garlic and Thyme.  Mr. T and I both loved this side dish.  I had to agree with the note with the recipe, it is a risotto crossed with macaroni and cheese...kind of.  It has little pieces of mushroom mixed in which adds a slight earthiness to the dish without taking over.  It is doesn't take long to prepare and I know we will be making it goes on the rotation!

Cheesy Rice with Garlic and Thyme
adapted from Fine Cooking, April/May 2012

Serves 4

1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms  (I used shitake because that is what I had on hand.)
Kosher salt
1 cup Arborio rice
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 medium clove garlic, crushed
2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme, additional for garnish
4 oz. (1 cup) coarsely grated fontina
3/4 oz. (1/2 cup) firmly packed, freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano; more for serving
Freshly ground white pepper

Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a 3-4 quart saucepan over high heat.

Pulse the mushrooms in a spice grinder until they're about the size of raw oatmeal flakes.
Add the mushrooms, 1 Tbs salt and the rice to the boiling water.  Reduce the heat to medium to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is al dente, 10-12 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in an 8-inch saute pan over medium-high heat, swirling continuously until it turns a deep golden-brown being careful not to burn it.  Immediately remove the pan from the heat and stir in the garlic and thyme.  Set aside.

Set a large, fine strainer over a bowl and strain the cooked rice and mushrooms catching the broth in the bowl.  Return the rice mixture to the pan over low heat.  Stir in the cheeses and the butter mixture and moisten the rice with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the both.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and cook another 2 to 3 minutes.   Sprinkle additional cheese and thyme sprigs for garnish.



  1. The rice looks great! I sent a link for your soda bread to a friend... Not sure she saw the bread because her eyes were immediately drawn to the Guinness cupcakes:@)

  2. Fontina, Parmigiano-Reggiano and thyme - that has to be good. No wonder it will go on rotation.

  3. I have always loved the cheese and rive combination. Easy to see why you would make this again.

  4. Oh YUM! a really delicious comfort dish - lovely flavors!
    Mary x

  5. Perfect! is right. And I have some dried porcini asking to be used. Yes, to this rice and all its tasty comfort.

  6. Isn't that magazine wonderful? My issues always have notes stuck to the many things to try. This dish looks wonderful, Kate.


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