The Risotto Challenge: Traditional vs. Quick and Under Pressure

Related To:

Risotto is perfect for a special weekend dinner. Until I started working in the test kitchen here at Food Network, I would have never attempted it for a weeknight dinner. That was until Katherine Alford (Vice President Food Network Test Kitchens) introduced me to risotto made in a pressure cooker.

I was skeptical at first. Using a pressure cooker cuts out one of the most important steps: stirring and slowly adding hot stock, coaxing the starch out from rice to make a creamy, luscious risotto. But I gave the pressure cooker a try one Monday night and had risotto ready for dinner in 25 minutes. It wasn’t far off from its traditional counterpart: creamy, toothsome and took only a fraction of the time and effort. Here is how a pressure cooker works: The steam given off by liquids in a well-sealed pressure cooker is trapped, and as pressure builds the temperature rises significantly compared to normal stove-top cooking. These higher temperatures cook food evenly and quickly.

Tip: Be sure to read your manufacturer’s instructions before using your pressure cooker for the first time.

Try the risotto challenge yourself. For a more traditional version try Food Network Magazine’s Mushroom and Squash Risotto (pictured above) from the October issue on page 131. For a quick, pressure-cooked recipe consider our Butternut Squash Risotto from November 2009 on page 111. Follow the recipe directions the same as if you were cooking in a regular pot; just put the ingredients in the pressure cooker instead.

If you like our quick version, then keep your pressure cooker busy during the week by making a risotto “bar” — make the Butternut Squash Risotto plain without the sage, squash, cheese and arugula and let your family stir in their favorite leftovers and cheese.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Gelato vs. Ice Cream: What's the Difference?

No, gelato and ice cream aren’t the same thing. Here are a few key differences.

On TV

The Pioneer Woman

9:30am | 8:30c

The Kitchen

10am | 9c

The Kitchen

11am | 10c

The Kitchen

12pm | 11c

The Pioneer Woman

1:30pm | 12:30c

Chopped

2pm | 1c

Chopped

3pm | 2c

Chopped

4pm | 3c

Chopped

5pm | 4c

Chopped

6pm | 5c

Chopped

7pm | 6c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Ridiculous Cakes

10pm | 9c

Ridiculous Cakes

10:30pm | 9:30c

Cake Wars

11pm | 10c

Ridiculous Cakes

1:30am | 12:30c

Cake Wars

2am | 1c