Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Risotto for Lazy People

I love risotto, but like many people, I generally made it for a dinner party or when I had time to stand over the stove.   One night as I was setting up the rice cooker whilst making dinner, I wondered by a rice cooker couldn't play a positive role in bringing risotto into the mix as a regular player in the weeknight dinner mix. 

With a little online research, I found that one could make risotto in a rice maker; the reviews were pretty good, so I figured, why not? Give it a try. I opted for a simple mushroom risotto to use as a baseline. 

First, I gathered the ingredients:

I small white onion - chopped fine

1 cup of arborio rice

1 lemon ( for zest)

Dry white wine (use about 1/4 cup (give or take)

a few shitake mushrooms - I have two GREAT Asian markets near me so my choices in this area are just fabulous

Chicken Stock/Broth


I set the cooker to cook white rice and heated a little olive oil, then sauteed the onion


once the onion is translucent, add the rice and saute until the rice is translucent


Meanwhile, warm the stock until it is going at a good simmer on the stove. Regular rice mix for a rice cooker is one cup of rice to liquid at level 1 in the cooker - it's approx 1.5 C liquid to 1 c. rice.  For risotto, use a 2:1 or even a 2.25:2 mixture...heat extra stock and add as needed.


And saute the mushrooms lightly with a little salt and pepper ( I forgot to rake a picture of that).   Add the wine and the stock to the rice and close the lid to cook (make sure the white rice indicator is still on and is cooking)


Stir halfway through ...check if you need more stock, add an 1/8 cup at a time if needed


And add the sauteed mushrooms

When the rice cooker clicks to warm (it's an automatic thing - I can't give you times)



When everything is absorbed, pop open the lid and shave in some parmesan into the rice and stir until creamy.    I served this with a mixed green, Kalamata olive and pecorino salad and Hawaiian butterfish with tomato coulis:


This will go well with a Sauvignion Blanc or a Pinot Gris as a cut to the creaminess of the dish; or, a Chablis or a steel fermented  Chard if you want to highlight the fish a bit more. Yummy!

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