Last Sunday, Mr. and Mrs. B had kind of an impromptu dinner party, so we sauntered over (3 houses down; convenient and easy to get to and from especially if you’ve been hitting the sauce). Mrs. B wanted to make risotto, which I’m fond of. What I’m not fond of is standing around the stove stirring, stirring, stirring for a half hour to get it just so. But Mrs. B said that she found a risotto recipe in one of the Food Network cookbooks that uses a pressure cooker, and she wanted to try that out.
I will admit, the boy and I were skeptical that it would work out, because I’m so used to risotto being the way it is only after stirring, stirring, stirring for a half hour or so. The pressure cooker recipe requires no intense manual labor (you can actually walk away!), and we were all surprised and delighted when it turned out not just good, but really, REALLY good, just as wonderful and creamy as any original recipe.
The boy and I own a boatload of kitchen gadgets. We actually used to own way more, but got rid of the ones we never used or have no faith in, such as the garlic press. At one time we owned three garlic presses; people kept giving them to us because they noticed we didn’t use any. It’s a very nice gesture and all, but I find a garlic press to be a complete useless waste of space and time. I can do a much better job with the flat end of a knife and a quick chop through. But a pressure cooker is something we don’t have. We’ve been talking about buying one for at least 7 years now, but never got around to it, whether it was a price issue or because we found a better use for the money. They are not cheap.
I do think we’re going to eventually get one, put some money aside for some snazzy heavy one, because the risotto recipe alone is worth the price.
About the pictures, uh, yeah. I’d imbibed a half bottle of wine by the time dinner was over, and forgot to take pictures of risotto in the making. We were all in a pretty ridiculous and silly mood, so I made people gather around after dinner for a photo shoot.
This is Brad. I wanted him to show how much he really enjoyed the risotto. I think he conveyed his excitement quite well, don’t you? We couldn’t stop laughing hysterically while trying to get him to pose.
Risotto, loosely based from a recipe from Food Network Kitchens: Making It Easy.
¼ to a 1/3rd cup of minced onion, or shallot.
2 to 3 cloves of minced garlic (depending on how much garlic you’d like)
A couple of knobs of butter, for sautéing and for adding at the end
1 and ½ cup of risotto rice (what is that, Arborio? I never know)
3 cups of chicken stock
½ cup of white wine
1 cup of grated parmesan
A couple of tablespoons of minced parsley (optional)
salt & pepper
Sauté the onion and garlic over medium heat in a couple of tablespoons of butter in the pressure cooker until soft (about 5 minutes).
Add the risotto rice, stir until it is coated with the buttery mix until it begins to smell nutty (about a minute or two).
Add the chicken broth and wine, clamp on the lid, and turn the heat up to high.
Let the pressure get to high – the indicator will pop and steam will start to come out (depends on what kind of pressure cooker you have – Mrs. B’s has an indicator). Cook for 4 more minutes.
Slowly let out ALL steam...this may take 2 minutes.
Remove the lid (it will look soupy), stir once or twice then let sit about 3 minutes to absorb the liquid.
Add remaining butter and the grated parmesan and stir well. Let sit for 5 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.
Sprinkle in some chopped parsley, season with salt and pepper, stir once or twice and serve.