For many a side dish of risotto may be new. I certainly cannot say that I grew up eating this creamy rice side. In the ‘old days’ if we went out for Italian it was usually lasagna, spaghetti or eggplant parmesan. I’m not sure I remember seeing it on many menus. The great thing about this side is how quickly in can be turned into a main entrée.
Once again there are many avenues to approach the recipe. I have prepared mine in a pressure cooker for speed and taste. This can definitely be prepared on the stovetop. Variations can include the use of different wines and stocks. My favorite would always be dry sherry. Sometimes you’ll even see saffron in risotto dishes. What cheese we choose is also very important. Most Italians would reach for parmesan for the perfect risotto. I’m not Italian, and I adore Gouda and smoked Gouda in my dishes. (Parmesan has the highest sodium level of all cheeses.)
Cream versus half/half and milk? It’s what you want! I love the creamy texture when this is made with heavy cream. You just have to remember to eat a smaller portion. Half/half would not be bad, but when it comes to milk, I hesitate. You will lose a great deal of recipe quality using milk.
Inside the rice dish you can begin to play with different additions. If I were making this just for Ervin and I there would be mushrooms and maybe even more onions. If this was being served for a special dinner for two, present with a skewer of sautéed shrimp. Steamed vegetables and a beautiful salad would knock this out of the ballpark. (Don’t forget the bread and dessert.)
For a main entrée pull back to half/half and implement leftover grilled chicken, inside the rice. With a southwest version there’s always the use of tomato juice, peppers/onions, jalapenos, etc.
When you rewarm the leftover rice you will definitely want to stir in extra dairy.
The dish firms up like rice pudding when refrigerated.
This rice dish can certainly become an addiction! So be careful overeating, been there done that. Reach out to someone who is lonely or in need of compassion this week. It also doesn’t hurt to take food along!!!!
Simply yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
Risotto in a T-Fal Pressure Cooker
2-4 tablespoons salted butter
1 small – medium onion, chopped fine
3 teaspoons garlic cloves minced, or 1 tablespoon
2 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/3 cup dry white wine or white soda
5 1/2 cups chicken stock*
1-11/4 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon Italian Spice blend, dry
6-8 ounces Gouda Cheese, smoked cheese is also delicious-
In the pressure cooker melt butter and begin sautéing the onion followed by the garlic and rice. Cook for an additional five minutes adding the wine or soda for a slight reduction. Add chicken stock and stir to blend. Place lid on cooker and bring under pressure on medium/medium high, with cooker on level #2. Getting the cooker to the ‘sizz’ stage often takes 6-8 minutes. Once the sizzle is constant lower the temperature to low/medium low and cook under pressure for 9 minutes. Remove from heat source immediately. Slowly release the cooker going from stage 2 to 1 and then 1 to full open. When the red stick drops the cooker is safe to open. Remove lid and stir in cheese, Italian spice and heavy cream. Continue stirring and rice will continue to cook. As a main entrée the risotto will serve 4-6 persons.
Shrimp, chicken or turkey could easily be included in this recipe. I would also enjoy the addition of mushrooms!
- If no-sodium stock was used add 1 teaspoon salt to cooker
- If low-sodium stock was used add 1/2 teaspoon salt to cooker
If regular stock from the store was implemented, with sodium added, you will not need to add any additional salt.