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Need rice cooker risotto recipe

PattiCakes Dec 16, 2008 09:16 AM

Help! I'm looking for a risotto recipe I can make in my rice cooker. It's for Christmas dinner, to accompany beef tenderloin and a crab/shrimp/lobster au gratin. I am not preparing the meal, however I've volunteered to make the starch. I figured something in the rice cooker would be good because it's a "set it & forget it " kind of thing. In addition, DH and I will be making the rounds amongst other relatives for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, so I have to prep this ahead of time.

The various food requirements/dislikes of the guests dictate that it should NOT contain onions, mushrooms or meat. Something with a pretty/colorful presentation is a plus. Anyone have a dynomite, wowzer suggestion?

  1. alwayscooking Dec 16, 2008 10:39 AM

    Risotto sounds a tad heavy give the beef, the assumed jus, and the seafood gratin. You might want to consider simple, garliced egg noodles or mashed potatoes to complement the two other dishes. Or are you trying to find a main dish for a vegitarian that will complement the carnivores meal as well? If so, consider adding a mushroom casserole (I know - you can't please everyone). Or even a seitan/tofu loaf with its own veg jus.

    Like the other posters, I'm unsure what your risotto results will be in a rice cooker since the machine is using a difference cooking method than the traditional. Knowing my cooker, the rice will either be very moist and sticky or fluffy given your chosen ingredients - neither which is a risotto.

    1. ChinoWayne Dec 16, 2008 09:39 AM

      Isn't one off the core principals of creating a good risotto the fact that it is cooked in an uncovered pot or pan, and that as the liquid is absorbed/vaporized you add more liquid, and thus anything you might concoct using an automatic rice cooker is going to be no more than a poor mockery of risotto.

      You might consider preparing a nice pilaf ahead off time, then just warm it before serving.

      7 Replies
      1. re: ChinoWayne
        bnemes3343 Dec 16, 2008 10:14 AM

        I would totally agree with your response. I can't see how you could 'make ahead' Risotto in a rice cooker, but there are plenty of links on the internet offering recipes...I too would go with the pilaf and warm it up, with a small amount of liquid if necessary.

        1. re: bnemes3343
          paulj Dec 16, 2008 10:31 AM

          It is possible to make a good rissotto-like dish in a pressure cooker, with just a final stirring after it is opened. But when the pot is first opened, the rice is quite soupy. This could be problem in a rice cooker, since most cookers (at least the simple ones), turn off when the water is absorbed and the temperature starts to rise.

          The OP could use risotto like flavorings, such as wine, saffron, cheese, etc. But unless the cooker has some special risotto mode, expect a texture and consistency more like Asian rice dishes.

          1. re: paulj
            PattiCakes Dec 16, 2008 10:39 AM

            OK, you've beaten me into submission. I had some concerns about the seafood au gratin & the creamy texture of a risotto together since I'm big on varying textures and colors. Pilaf is better. I can do a lot with that, including mixing it up on the grains. Maybe some wild rice. Red pepper, peas (spinach, asparagus, or somethning else green): Christmas colors. I'm on a roll.

            Thanks, Chowzers, for aiming me in a better direction.

            1. re: PattiCakes
              bnemes3343 Dec 16, 2008 10:47 AM

              Sorry to have beaten you up, but it just seemed like such a risky thing to try if you've never done it before. Hopefully your pilaf will be a big success. Then experiment with rice cooker risotto in the privacy of your home and maybe you'll find it's totally doable. Good luck

              1. re: PattiCakes
                Karl S Dec 16, 2008 11:07 AM

                HEre's a tip: bulgur rather than rice (or with white rice). It's cracked whole wheat that's been steamed and thus pre-cooked and then dried. It's easier to cook than white rice, and is much tastier and much more interesting (and it has a lot more fiber). You don't even have to simmer it - you can just let it soak up hot stock (though simmering is a bit faster).

                1. re: Karl S
                  PattiCakes Dec 16, 2008 11:33 AM

                  Thanks for the suggestion. I have done bulgar before & like it. I wanted to do whatever I did using the rice cooker. Mine works very well & is idiot-proof. By the time dinner rolls around, I will probably be half in the bag, as they say, and don't want anything I have to watch or fuss with. I'll also do a test run this weekend.

                  bnemes3343: risky would have been OK, but I would have done a test batch first. It's at my sister's house & we have done some very strange recipies before -- some even with success. It just adds to the fun (and the legend). We are, for instance, continuing our tradition of an appetizer throw-down with all of the kids. Our family dinners are always an adventure!

                  1. re: PattiCakes
                    Karl S Dec 16, 2008 12:50 PM

                    You can do bulgur in a rice cooker.

        2. b
          bnemes3343 Dec 16, 2008 09:31 AM

          Here's a link from about.com that might help. Personally, I would consider a different starch. I think of Risotto as something that (1) shouldn't be made in a rice cooker, and (2) should be served pretty much right away. But... good luck.


          1. paulj Dec 16, 2008 09:23 AM

            What sort of texture do you want? Do you want the creamy texture that is usually produced by regularly stirring a short grain rice while cooking (and adding cheese at the end), or do you want something looser or even fluffy?

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