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Old 08-18-2006, 08:37 PM   #1
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Risotto in the Pressure Cooker!

The discussion of cooking rice brought to mind one of my favorite foods, risotto. I think the hype that it's too hard to make or too time consuming is overblown -- I don't mind stirring it for 25 minutes (hint -- use a nonstick pot and you won't have to stir it nearly as often). All of that's worth it, IMHO, for a superb wild mushroom risotto or something of that ilk.

I do mind, however, having to do all of that when I'm cooking something else, such as lamb shanks (for which Risotto Milanese is the perfect accompaniment) and would prefer to be drinking wine with my guests (well, with some of them anyway). Last winter I found a solution -- my beloved Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker.

Here's the recipe:

RISOTTO MILANESE
Pressure-Cooker Method

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped (about ¾ cup)
1 cup arborio rice
2 cups low-fat chicken stock
1/4 cup vermouth or dry white wine
1/8 teaspoon crushed saffron
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the oil in a pressure cooker over high heat. Add the onion, cook, stirring, until translucent, about 2 minutes.

Add the rice and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds until the outer edges turn translucent.

Add the stock, wine, and saffron.

Cover and bring to high pressure over high heat.

Reduce heat to stabilize pressure. Cook 7 minutes.

Quick-release pressure and remove cover.

Stir in white pepper, salt, butter, and Parmesan.

Let sit for 2 minutes before serving.

Makes 4 Servings





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Old 08-18-2006, 09:02 PM   #2
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Risotto is a food of love (or at least requires some time and a little concious effort - the stirring and slow incremental addition of stock has a purpose to develop it's creamy texture) - not some glop you scrape out of a pressure cooker pot!

Of course we have a few members here who live in Italy ... would love to see what they have to say on the matter ...
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Old 08-18-2006, 09:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FryBoy
I don't mind stirring it for 25 minutes (hint -- use a nonstick pot and you won't have to stir it nearly as often).
The stirring is not to keep it from sticking, but it is actually to bring out the starch of the grains. Constant stirring is not really required though as some will lead you to believe.
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Old 08-18-2006, 09:59 PM   #4
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A pressure-cooker risotto...
Why?
What is the problem with cooking some rice for 15-20 minutes ( which is the time it takes to cook anyway) and stirring, tasting, adding, etc.
I thought that was what cooking was all about!
No, with all due respect, Fryboy - it's like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.
Part of the delight of risotto is the process, ¡El Amor!

It's like barbecuing meat on an open wood fire!!
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Old 08-18-2006, 10:04 PM   #5
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According to some on another board, it is VERY good. And while the process may be the delight, sometimes it is nice just to get it done. At a culinary arts demo last year the chef from Julia's Kitchen also described how to "hold" risotto for service which is also helpful.
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Old 08-18-2006, 10:05 PM   #6
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Gary, I thought you were on vacation...does your wife know you're on the computer?
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Old 08-18-2006, 10:09 PM   #7
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Shhhh don't tell her. She thinks I am paying bills online

We got back today. I think I am going to make risotto tomorrow thanks to this thread.
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Old 08-18-2006, 10:25 PM   #8
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I'm sure you had a wonderful time and she'll enjoy tomorrow's risotto...and the bills will be paid.
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Old 08-18-2006, 10:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael in FtW
Risotto is a food of love (or at least requires some time and a little concious effort - the stirring and slow incremental addition of stock has a purpose to develop it's creamy texture) - not some glop you scrape out of a pressure cooker pot!
My, you're certainly open to new ideas, Michael! I've made more kinds of risotto than you can imagine, and I must say I'm very good at it. When it's the main course, as it often is in our house, I make it the old fashioned way. When it's a side dish, however, and I have guests waiting, I need a quicker method that produces good results. The pressure cooker does that, your skepticism notwithstanding.

Lorna Sass, who is generally recognized as the foremost expert on pressure cookers, rightfully calls risotto nothing less than "one of the pressure cooker's greatest triumphs" (Pressure Perfect, page 196). The fact is that rather than producing "glop," as you so graciously put it, pressure cooking brings out the starch that creates the creamy texture that defines risotto, and it does it much faster and more efficiently that hand stirring. Anyone who would botther to try the method would understand that.

True, making good risotto in the pressure cooker may not be as much fun as standing over a hot steaming pot of rice during the last 30 minutes before serving dinner, but some of us prefer to concentrate on our friends rather than the stove.
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Old 08-19-2006, 12:27 AM   #10
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Welcome back GB!!

Now, I have to say that I dont think I will EVER see an Italian mama cook her risotto in a pressure cooker. Not to say the end result is not OK, just that in Italy, tradition dictates it is to be stirred. For 20 to 25 minutes. And that is why I love the Slow Food Movement...we have got to keep to it alive.
I get SO much pleasure from that stirring and seeing this gorgeous, creamy mass forming with my love and attention, its what cooking is all about.
We have a great Wine Master here in NZ who does his in the microwave and swears by it. Ok again.
Im sticking to stirring, and loving it. lolol

BTW, I spent 10 years in Italy, and pressure cookers were constantly being used. Just never for risotto.
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