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Julie Van Rosendaal - Pressure cooking

The Eyeopener's food and nutrition columnist, Julie Van Rosendaal, sings the praises of an under-appreciated kitchen appliance - the pressure cooker.

No-Stir Pressure Cooker Risotto

This basic formula makes a classic, creamy Parmesan risotto - without stirring! Customize your comfort food by sautéing sturdy ingredients (like mushrooms or bits of sausage) along with the onions, or stirring in more fragile ingredients, like spinach, fresh herbs or shrimp, at the end when you open the pot.

1 Tbsp. (15 mL) canola or olive oil
2 Tbsp. (30 mL) butter, divided
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup (250 mL) Arborio or other short-grained rice
1/2 cup (125 mL) white wine (optional)
2 cups (500 mL) low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup (60 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
a squeeze of lemon juice (optional)

In a stovetop pressure cooker, heat the oil and 1 Tbsp. of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until soft. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for another minute, until the grains are well coated. 

If you like, add a splash of wine and cook until it evaporates. Add the stock, cover and lock the lid, and bring the pot up to pressure according to the manufacturer's directions. Once it's up to pressure - you can usually tell by the dangly piece on top steaming and spinning - reduce the heat to medium-low, ensuring that the top is still steaming and spinning, and cook for 8-9 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool until the pressure goes down, then remove the lid. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, remaining butter and a squeeze of lemon juice and serve warm.

Serves 4-6.

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