Risotto is an amazing dish. You cook rice in broth, stirring in liquid as it gets absorbed by the grains, and it creates this dish with a creamy consistency and amazing taste. You feel like you are eating something sinful, but there's no cream in it at all. The only downside is making it. It requires a lot of babysitting, since you have to stir it frequently (some people say constantly) and add liquid for 20 minutes or so. The results are worth it, but it's still a lot of standing by the stove and watching a pot. Some people really enjoy this process, but I'm not one of them. Even for those who enjoy standing by a hot stove becoming one with their food, risotto is often relegated to a special occasion or at least a weekend dish due to how intense its preparation is.
Here's where you're going to hate me if you don't own a pressure cooker - in a pressure cooker risotto can be made in about 15 minutes with no stirring at all. No standing by the stove, no adding broth just as the liquid in the pan gets absorbed. None of that. You just saute some onions in butter with the uncooked rice grains, add broth and cook under pressure for 10 minutes. Unbelievable? Believe it. For those of you who are pressure-cooker-less, I'm including suggested instructions so you aren't left out of the risotto party. Though if you are a big fan of risotto, this might be a good excuse to go buy one.
No Fail Risotto
1 T butter
1/4 cup diced onion or shallot
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup Arborio rice (do no substitute long grain rice. If you can find arborio, use short or medium grain rice)
2 cups low sodium chicken broth (about 4 1/2 cups if you are using traditional stovetop method)
1/4 cup white wine (I substitute with 2T juice and 2T water)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 T minced fresh parsley
1. In a pressure cooker or large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in onion and rice and saute until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add wine (or substitution) and stir until the liquid has been absorbed.
2. Pressure cooker directions: Add the broth, close the lid and heat to high pressure. Cook for 8-10 minutes at high pressure. When done, release the pressure and open the cooker. The risotto will look a little soupy, but this is normal. The rice should be cooked to al dente. If it is still a little too hard, cook at a low simmer until done. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and parsley and serve.
2. Stovetop directions: While cooking the onion and rice, warm chicken broth in a small pot over low heat. When onion and rice have finished cooking, add in the hot stock, a few ladles at a time, and stir for a minute with each addition to develop the starch and the creamy aspect. Total cooking time will be about 18 minutes or so. Keep adding stock each time the pan starts to become dry at the edges. When rice is cooked to al dente, stir in the cheese and parsley and serve.
Recipe source: Adapted from Fagor 3-in-1 Electric Multicooker Recipe Book