under pressure

Hum David Bowie in your head.  Tonight was the maiden voyage of my Fagor Duo pressure cooker, acquired with my long-lost-but-newly-found Sur la Table gift  card.  This is the smaller pot.

A couple friends were intrigued by the idea of risotto in 7 minutes WITHOUT the tedious stirring and broth adding, so that’s what I made tonight.  Most of the recipes I found included things like meat or veggies, but for this trial run, I opted for basics.  It was just arborio rice, butter, oil, garlic, onions and broth.  I was too lazy to open a big bottle of white wine just for this; otherwise I would have added a bit of that.  For those in Seattle, you can get this here GIANT (and by that I mean two foot) bag of arborio rice at Cash and Carry for $14.  Seriously!

The first steps are the same as regular risotto – sweating the onions and garlic in butter/olive oil, then add the rice (I used 1 1/2 cups) and coat each grain, stirring til well-coated in fat.

Now comes the fun part!  Normally, you would start adding ladlefuls of hot broth a little at a time, stirring til each addition was absorbed by the rice. But with this handy little gadget, I just dumped in 3 1/2 cups of broth!  Put the lid on, locked it down, and waited til it came up to pressure (you know it’s at pressure because it starts to steam and the little orange button pops up).  Here is the only tricky part.  Once it reaches pressure, you need to reduce the heat WHILE still maintaining pressure.  On electric stoves, they suggest you have another burner set on low so you can move to the pot off the high heat and avoid overcooking.  I turned my second burner down TOO low – it lost pressure.  I read that if that happens, you should increase the heat til it returns to pressure and add a few minutes to your cooking time.  The cooking time, by the way, starts once it reaches pressure.  So I turned up the heat and added a few minutes, but the button never popped back up.  It did start steaming again, so I waited with one eye on the exit in case all hell broke loose.  When the timer went off, I used the quick-release method to reduce the pressure (even though it technically never regained pressure, I wasn’t taking any chances), which is basically just running some cold water over the lid.  Mine also has a knob for releasing steam so I did that too, just in case.  I took off the lid and voila!  It was a miracle!  That rice was cooked!  And it had been maybe 10 minutes!  It was a smidge loose, so I left on the heat a couple minutes, grated in some Parmesan, and….

would you look at that!?  It was fabulous! Can’t wait to try some with sausage and peppers, mushrooms, shrimp…god know I have enough arborio.

So go forth, you fraidy cats!  Get thee a pressure cooker!


7 responses to “under pressure”

  1. I love the shape of that pressure cooker! I’ve got a tall, more narrow one and just love it, but I think the wide, rounded shape would be so versatile.

    • This came with two pots, one more like a saute pan (which is the one in the photo) and a larger 8 qt one shaped like a stock pot. The lid fits on both. Also has a steamer insert. This week we’re trying potato-cauliflower curry and black bean chili! I think I need to oil the gasket, since there was some water dripping down the handle.

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