Risotto: A notoriously creamy and flavorful rice dish that has a reputation for requiring slow and careful cooking on the stove.
But, just what is risotto, exactly? And is it possible to find a good risotto recipe for the pressure cooker?
According to "Risotto" (a book by Judith Barrett), it is an Italian dish of rice cooked in broth until it reaches a creamy consistency. It often includes onion and Parmesan cheese.
In order to get the desired creaminess only certain types of extra starchy rice can be used. There are many different varieties, but the most easily found (at least here in the US) is Arborio rice. Extra starchy rice is key, because it's the release of the starch that provides the right texture.
Traditionally risotto is made by sauteing onion and/or garlic in butter and/or oil, then adding the rice (dry) until it is coated in butter as well. While this is being prepared, the broth you will be adding should be heating on the stove so you can add it hot. Often (but not always), the first liquid is a little bit of wine. After the wine is absorbed, hot broth is added a little bit at a time, while allowing each addition to be fully absorbed by the rice. You need to stir almost continuously, so it doesn't burn, and so the starches are loosened from the grains. After all the broth is cooked in, the risotto is taken off the heat, and parmesan cheese is added until it is melted, which further enhances the creaminess of the dish.
The tough part isn't getting the flavors (how could you go wrong with rice, broth, onion, and cheese?). Rather, the tough part is getting the rice to be creamy without being gluey. The rice should be cooked "al dente" so you still get the texture of the grains, and they do not become a pile of soft (delicious) goop.
Risotto, is one of my favorite meals, even when I don't get it right and it comes out a little sticky. It is also a recipe that is best done in the winter, not in this heat-wave, since you have to stand over the stove and stir the whole time the rice is cooking. So, when I saw a recipe for Pressure Cooker Risotto, that cooked in 6 minutes and didn't require standing over the stove, I got very excited to try it. Although, I must admit, I was a little skeptical that it would come out just as creamy and delicious as the traditional method.
How to make risotto: Pressure Cooker Broccoli Risotto
Recipe adapted from Livestrong: Risotto Recipe
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 large onion (or 1 medium)
3 cloves garlic
1.5 cups Arborio rice
1 head diced broccoli
1 medium or large carrot, chopped
4 cups vegetable, or chicken, broth
1 tsp salt
1 cup parmesan shredded parmesan cheese
Broccoli Risotto Recipe:
Finely dice the onion and garlic. Saute both on medium heat with the olive oil in the bottom of the pressure cooker until they start to turn translucent, about 2 - 3 minutes.
Add the rice, chopped broccoli, and chopped carrot to the pan and stir to get everything lightly coated in oil
Add the broth, and de-glaze the pan, scraping all the yummy bits from the bottom so they don't burn.
Make sure the pressure cooker lid is closed, sealed and locked and bring to 15 psi pressure. Once pressure is reached, immediately lower the heat to the lowest possible setting to maintain steady steam in the pressure cooker. Cook for 6 minutes.
After 5 minutes, use the pressure cooker quick release method to reduce the pressure inside the pressure cooker.
The rice still might have a lot of broth left, it should continue absorbing. (Some recipes we found say 5 minutes, other recipes say 7 minutes, so we tried 6 with good results)
Fold in the parmesan cheese, and add salt and pepper to taste.
Let the rice rest for a few minutes to allow the remaining broth to fully absorb.
So, what was the verdict? Did it come out as tasteful as traditional risotto? Not quite.
Was it as creamy? Yes, but it was also quite gluey.
Would we change anything for next time? Yes. We used vegetable broth, and both felt that chicken broth might have added a bit more punch. I might also add more salt, pepper, and other spices before bringing it all to pressure.
It was really good, but not perfect. I'd make it again, because it was so quick and easy, but we both agree that we will try a few more tweaks before we abandon the stovetop version.
If you try this recipe, or have made your own risotto in a pressure cooker, feel free to leave tips on what we can do to kick this recipe up in both texture and flavor.
What have you found?
Looking for more pressure cooker recipes? View the archive.
Thanks for reading.
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