Friday, April 04, 2008

No Stir Crockpot Risotto

Mamacita asked for some good crockpot recipes, and I had been meaning to write this up for Catherine's LiveMom site, so I couldn't resist. (I rock Crockpot cooking so much I've thrown a only slightly competitive dinner party using only recipes prepared in the crockpot. Duck Confit and Bread Pudding were the highlights. Firecracker Pork was also a hit.) My favorite Crockpot recipe, however, is risotto. Risotto is one of those things I *never* make, because it requires constant stirring over a long period of time. No fun. When I found this recipe in Lora Brody's Slow Cooker Cooking** book, I knew I had to try it.

This isn't one of those "cook all day while you're at work" recipes. It only takes 2 hours, so I'll do it on a weekend afternoon or on a day I'm working from home.

So here's my easy Slow Cooker Risotto recipe, adapted from Brody's.

1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/4 cups raw arborio rice
4 cups chicken stock (original recipe replaces 1/4 c of the broth with white wine) (the more flavor it has the better the risotto will be)
1/2 - 2/3 cup shredded parmesan

Toss the rice & oil in the insert to coat. Stir in the stock. Cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours (mine usually takes 2 1/2 hours). Right before serving stir in the parmesan cheese.

I doctor this up to make a main dish by stirring in frozen peas, chopped up ham leftovers, a link of fancy sausage sauteed into chunks, or anything else I read about in fancy risotto recipes.

note: Brody's recipe also has you sauteeing 2 shallots in the oil before tossing the rice in it. Great idea, but I'm too lazy....

**Lora Brody's book is the absolutely best crockpot cookbook out there, and I've tried a lot. Most are as boring and bland as the midwestern 1950s households they were developed in. This one actually has food with flavor.