I love Risotto. I enjoy most rice dishes but the texture and flavor of Risotto puts it way up there for me.
A few years ago we had a few friends over for dinner, I decided to try making Risotto. It turned out great, but boy - did it need a lot of watching over. I was cooking for 10 people and it took a lot of time, I couldn't multitask at all and my arm was sore from all the stirring. I've made it the traditional way in my dutch oven a few times since then - the end result was always worth the effot. But now I've found a better way!
It really doesn't get easier than this - and even in the slow cooker, the amount I made was ready in 1 - 1.5 hours !
Prep time - 5 minutes, Cook time - 10 minutes, Slow cooker time - 1 -1.5 hours.
* Arborio Rice - 2 cups
* Chicken / Veg Broth - 4 cups
* White wine (optional) - 1 cup
* Mushroom (any kind you like) - 1 - 1.5 cup
* Onion or shallots chopped- 1/2 cup
* Garlic - 2-3 pods
* 3 tbsp olive oil
* Salt - 1 tsp
* Fresh ground pepper
* Parmesan cheese - 1/2 cup
* Fresh herbs (optional)
* Put your slow cooker on the brown setting. If your slow cooker doesn't have this setting, you need to do it on the stove in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the oil.
* Once the oil is warm, change the setting of your slow cooker to slow cook (basically we don't want brown the onions and the rice, so we need to lower the temperature).
* Add the onions and garlic. Cook till onions are transparent. Add the arborio rice and cook until the rice is evenly coated (the rice should not brown).
* Add in the mushrooms and the white wine. If the temperature is not warm enough - you might need to switch to brown setting just to get it to warm again and switch back to slow cook again.
* Once the wine reduces (the liquid quantity reduces). Add the chicken broth. If you did this on the stove. Transfer the contents to the slow cooker now.
* Add salt and pepper to taste. Note - add less salt than you typically do.
* Close the slow cooker. Set it on high for 1 hour.
* At one hour, if the rice is done but still has a slight bite (not totally mushy. It should be al dente). You are done. If its too dry, add more broth to it. If it needs to be cooked more, check again in 15 - 20 minutes.
* Once the rice is done, stir in the parmesan cheese just before serving. Add any herbs that you want. Taste check for salt and pepper. If you find there is too much salt, stirring in some milk or cream helps tune down the saltiness.
* Serve and enjoy !
Risotto is a great base and once you have the technique down, you can add any veggie to it. The best part is - everyone loves it including picky kids.. Try it out and let me know what you think. I'd love to here from you.