Have y’all ever watched Hell’s Kitchen? Did you see Chef Ramsay lose his shit over some hapless fool’s shitty risotto and go on a rant at least once a show? When you see a show where they talk about risotto constantly, guess what happens? That’s right, you want to eat you some risotto. The other thing he was ALWAYS going on about was Beef Wellington, which I hope someday to eat. I Googled about for risotto recipes, and when I found that you have to stand over the stove and slowwwwwly stir stock into the pot of rice until it’s absorbed, then add more and slowwwwly stir it while it absorbs, I was all “Um, no.” I’ve got better things to do than stand over the stove and babying some stupid rice dish along.
I saw this recipe in some magazine somewhere and I was all “Risotto! I bet it’s a pain in the ass!” and then I read the recipe and it’s made in the microwave, removing the need to stand and stir for 37 days.
Now, I know what those of you who make risotto on the regular are going to say. You’re going to tell me that I’m nuts, that I need to make it the RIGHT way, that the microwave version DOES NOT COMPARE. I find that I like the microwave version so much that I’m willing to forgo making it the RIGHT way, because if the RIGHT-way-made risotto is better than this stuff, I’ll be spending my entire life in front of that stupid-ass stove.
And I don’t wanna.
If you’re lazy like me, take my hand and let’s get to microwavin’!
I use Arborio rice. The recipe says you could also use long grain rice, but I recommend you give the Arborio a try. Mushrooms (fresh – I’ve tried canned, they just aren’t as good in this recipe), butter, thyme, chicken broth, garlic cloves, and while the recipe calls for grated parmesan, I use shredded.
Now, please note that you see peas above. You DO NOT have to use peas. The recipe actually does not call for peas, but I like them. Some people, like my friend Liz, consider peas to be a personal insult. If you are a pea-hater, leave ’em out, no biggie.
Also, please note the onions. Again, the original recipe doesn’t call for onions, but I love them. Leave ’em out if you don’t.
First step, in a deep microwave-safe dish with a tight-fitting lid (I use a Pyrex dish, you’ll see), combine butter and thyme. Microwave for 1 minute (this is just to melt the butter). Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and microwave for 8 minutes.
(Because I used onion and peas, I added the onion with the mushrooms, microwaved for 6 minutes, added the peas, and microwaved for an additional 2 minutes.)
With a slotted spoon, transfer the mushrooms (and onions and peas, if you’re using them) to a plate.
In the same dish that you cooked the mushrooms (etc.) in, combine rice, broth and garlic. Add a bit of salt and pepper. Cover and microwave for 9 minutes.
Stir, add 2 c. water, and microwave for 9 minutes more. Now, because everything in my life is a big pain in the ass, for some reason in this particular step, some of the liquid boils over. To prevent a huge mess in the microwave, I put a couple of paper towels under the dish. After the cooking is done, I toss those paper towels in the compost bin, and don’t have to scrub down the microwave. That’s a win for me!
When that 9 minutes is up, stir the mushroom (/onion/ peas) mixture into the rice and microwave for 2 minutes. Stir in the parmesan.
After you add the parmesan, the whole mixture might be a bit soupy. That’s okay – let it sit for a few minutes and it will get thicker. And it will be faaaaaabulous.
That’s right, we had risotto with our roast. Two DCEP recipes from one meal! I’m a cheater!
It’s even better the next day. I’ve been known to sneak bites of cold risotto during the day when I happen to see the dish sitting in the fridge beckoning me seductively.
I imagine there are any number of things you could add to this stuff to liven it up. We’ve talked about grilling shrimp and stirring it in at the end, for one.
If possible, Fred likes this stuff even more than I do. I don’t make it too often (I don’t want to make it so often we get tired of it), but when I do the chickens don’t get any of it because we like it so much! From us, that’s high praise indeed.
- 2 T butter
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 10 oz mushrooms, trimmed and quartered (I use the 8 oz container of sliced (cleaned) mushrooms from the grocery store.)
- coarse salt & ground pepper
- 1 c. Arborio or long grain rice
- 1 can chicken broth (I use 2 c. chicken broth)
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced (I use minced)
- ¼ c. grated Parmesan (I use shredded)
- ½ c. peas
- 1 - 2 small onions, chopped
- In a deep microwave safe dish with tight-fitting lid, combine butter and thyme. Microwave 1 minute. Add mushrooms (and onions, if you're using them), season with salt and pepper, microwave 8 minutes. (If you're using peas, microwave the mushrooms for 6 minutes, stir in the peas, and microwave another 2 minutes)
- Transfer mushroom mixture to a plate.
- In the same dish (that you microwaved the mushrooms in) combine rice, broth and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and microwave for 9 minutes.
- Stir in 2 c. water, microwave 9 minutes more.
- Stir in mushroom mixture; microwave 2 minutes.
- Stir in Parmesan; let sit for a few minutes (mixture will thicken a bit).