The whole point of today’s post is to implore all owners of a pressure cooker to use it to make risotto. I know it isn’t traditional but risotto cooked in a pressure cooker is both good and quick. I have a pressure cooker and the only thing I have ever cooked in it is risotto. That maybe a slight exaggeration but, most certainly, the only thing in the last one hundred years.
I bought my pressure cooker when I was working and time was of the essence. I wanted either a Kuhn Rikon or Tefal that had a broad base and short sides, ie, shaped more like a frying pan than a saucepan. Problem was they were really, really expensive so I hesitated. One day, I saw a Kern pressure cooker on special and bought it. It was cheap and shaped nothing like a frying pan. As it turns out, it does exactly the same thing as the expensive ones.
When I bought my pressure cooker, I did what I usually do. I bought two cook books. One book exalted the virtues of making risotto in the pressure cooker. For some reason, I decided to try it. It worked a treat so I did it again… and again… and again.
Now I am retired and time is not of the essence, but I still make all my risotto in the pressure cooker. Why do things the hard way when there is an easy way? This is what I do. It will work for any risotto recipe.
- Melt some butter or oil, depending on the recipe, in your pressure cooker and gently fry the onion (and garlic, if part of the recipe) until the onion is transparent and soft. Don’t be afraid to add a little water if the onion is browning or sticking.
- Add the rice and stir until the grains are coated in the butter and hot and glistening.
- Add wine, if used (or other flavourings), and stir until it has been absorbed.
- Add any meat or vegetables that can take a bit of cooking.
- Add the hot stock, all at once.
- Put the lid on your pressure cooker and bring to pressure. Cook at pressure for 7-8 minutes.
- Take off the heat and allow the steam to escape.
- Once depressurised, remove the lid and put your pressure cooker over a low heat.
- Add any remaining vegetables or nuts,etc.
- Ensure fluid levels are fine. If a bit dry, add a bit of stock or water. If too fluid, continue cooking until the extra fluid has been absorbed.
- Add any additional butter, parmesan, salt and pepper and stir.
- Serve with extra parmesan.
Now let us put this theory into practice.
- 500g of fresh asparagus
- one onion or two shallots, chopped
- 75g butter
- 500g risotto rice (eg, Arborio)
- 1.5 litres of hot chicken or vegetable stock
- 50g parmesan cheese
- 1 tbs parsley
- salt and pepper
- extra parmesan, to serve
- Slice the asparagus into one centimetre pieces, leaving the heads intact. Separate the heads from the stems.
- Heat up half of the butter in the bottom of your pressure cooker.
- Gently fry the onion until soft and translucent – add a bit of water if needed.
- Add the rice and the asparagus pieces and coat with the butter.
- Add the hot stock and secure the pressure cooker lid.
- When the cooker comes to pressure, cook for 7-8 minutes.
- Take off the heat and, when the pressure is released, remove the lid.
- Put your pressure cooker over a low heat.
- Add the asparagus heads and parsley.
- Ensure the fluid levels are fine.
- Add parmesan, remaining butter and salt and pepper.
- Dinner is served.
Recipe is from Risotto! by Valentina Harris.
Here is a link to my favourite risotto recipe which I usually make. Asparagus risotto is my second favourite. I have been making it lately because I have an abundance of asparagus.