rice cooker mushroom risotto

Standing and stirring is so not happening in my kitchen, unless it is for caramel … which happens exactly once a year … at Christmas. So me making a traditional risotto is about as likely as Veronica changing her name to Heather.

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Enter the rice cooker.

The rice cooker is a wretched cook’s dream machine. It does everything, mostly. So not just for rice. I got mine when I had dinner at a friend’s house and she made an amazing rice dish that I still haven’t figured out how to replicate. I pored over recipes and finally found several I could smush up and combine to come up with my very own stolen bastardized mushroom risotto.

“Lick it up, baby. LICK IT UP.” ~ Veronica Sawyer

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms (Go wild on the fungus. Any shroom’ll do.)
  • 2 cups Arborio rice (now, know that I felt obligated to put “Arborio” in there because I have the audacity to call this dish risotto. Honestly, I just use whatever rice I have on hand.)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup dry white wine (Get the good stuff. You know you’re drinking the rest while this cooks.)
  • 3 cups stock (I always use veggie stock, but use whatever you like.)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup half and half 
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan (not from a green container … actual cheese, people.)
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

My rice cooker is by Cuisinart, so the directions will reflect that. You’ll have to adjust or succumb to peer pressure and go get a Cuisinart so you can be JUST LIKE VERONICA.

Plug the thing in and turn it on so the red “cook” light is on. Toss the olive oil in there. Add the mushrooms, onion and garlic. Cook until the onions are soft. Give it a stir every now and then.

Stir in the rice. Add the wine and let it cook with the lid off until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add the stock and put the lid on. Pour yourself a glass of wine and let the rice steam away until the power button makes a popping sound and the light turns amber. This is usually when I discover I’ve left the damn thing too close to the cabinet and the steam has FUBAR’d the genuine fake wood laminate.

Add the cream, parmesan, butter and parsley. Stir to combine. Salt and pepper to your taste and boom. Awesome risotto with minimal stirring.

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