Friday, May 01, 2009

Risotto in the speed of light

Purists, avert your eyes, cover you ears. The method for cooking risotto I'm writing about in this post is so unorthodox, it'll have you throw your hands up in horror.

I use my pressure cooker for making risotto, There, I said it. I never dreamt of making risotto any other way than patiently stirring it for twenty minutes or so until I read this post in Sigirid's beautiful blog cavoletto di bruxelles. I reckoned that she knew a thing or two about cooking and if she considered the pressure cooker method to be ok, I'd give it a try. And I haven't looked back, to be honest. I wouldn't say I'd never make risotto the traditional way again, but the pressure cooker method is so fast, you can have a perfectly good risotto on you table in roughly ten minutes, preparation time included. What's not to love about that?

Pressure cooker risotto (serves 2)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 160g risotto rice
  • 1 glass white wine
  • 5dl boiling broth
  • 2-3 tablespoons grated parmesan
  • 1 small knob of butter
  • freshly grated pepper
Remove the steaming device from the bottom of the pressure cooker. Heat the olive oil and gently fry the onion until soft and translucent. Add the rice and cook for a minute or two until it is shiny, then add the wine and let evaporate. Add the broth, stir and put on the lid. Heat until the valve hisses, turn down the heat and cook the risotto on level two of you pressure cooker (for mine, it's when two red rings show on the valve) for six minutes. Place the pan under the tap and run cold water over it in order for the steam to be released. Open the pan, place it back on the stove and stir for a minute or two until the remaining liquid is absorbed. Stir in the butter, parmesan and black pepper (I also added some chopped spring onions and parsely at this stage), cover and let rest for five minutes. Serve immediately.

I have made this with excellent results using carnaroli. I was given a bag of rice called avorio and tried it, too. The end result was even better but it takes longer, I'd say ten minutes. I don't know what this avorio rice is about, it looks like it's been parboiled but I'm not sure. Does anyone know? All I know is that I want more of it.


The Veggie Queen said...

I, too, use the pressure cooker to make risotto. I just made 2 different kinds last week - saffron with asparagus and wild mushroom. Both delicious in just 5 minutes at pressure.

The rice that you mention, arborio, is the only kind that I can easily get to make risotto. It doesn't take any longer than carnaroli for me -- they are both medium grain starchy rice from Italy.

Thank you for your post. Purists don't realize what they are missing -- about 20 minutes of free time.

Katerina said...

I sometimes love the severnity of makin risotto. I will stand by my stove with a glass of wine and a novel and stir. You know. Sometimes.

But Seriously? Why don't I have a pressure cooker!!!!

Honeybee said...

Veggie Queen - how nice to meet another adept of the pressure cooker method! About the rice: it's actually not arborio but avorio. It looks different and behaves differently when cooked. I'll do some research to get more information!

Katerina - I totally agree, there's is something about dedicating twenty minutes or so to the perfect risotto! And when there's a glass of wine and a good novel to be enjoyed in the meantime - what's not to love!

The Veggie Queen said...

Either way of cooking risotto is good with a glass of wine and something to read. One way you read after, the other way while you're doing it.

I want to hear more about your rice. Thanks.

Honeybee said...

It seems that avorio is simply the italian versio of parboiled rice. See here for instance:

B said...

i loved this, a quick tasty friday dinner for us in lightning speed. I used arborio and asparagus and dried mushrooms and leeks instead of onions. thanks. A desert of rhubarb and strawberry clafoutis (le tartine gourmande) was quick and excellent with this with the left over white wine

Honeybee said...

B - I'm glad you liked it! I love, clafoutis, too!