Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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March 27, 2013

Pressure cooker makes risotto a fast and easy dish

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PRESSURE COOKER RISOTTO WITH ASPARAGUS

The asparagus is added raw to the rice after it is cooked, letting the delicate green stalks cook just briefly. This light touch leaves the asparagus bright green and slightly crunchy. If you like your asparagus cooked more, you can grill or saute it briefly before adding it to the risotto. But do not add it to the pressure cooker at the same time as the rice or it will overcook.

Start to finish: 45 minutes

Servings: 4

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large shallot, chopped or thinly sliced

1 cup Arborio rice

1/2 cup white wine

2 cups no-salt chicken broth

Pinch of salt, plus more to taste

Pinch of red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup small asparagus tips and tops, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1/8 cup chopped fresh chives

In a medium pressure cooked over medium, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the shallot and saute for 2 to 3 minutes, or until translucent. Increase heat to high and add the rice, stirring to coat. Toast the rice, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the wine and cook until evaporated.

Add the broth and a pinch each of salt and red pepper flakes. Stir until the mixture comes to a simmer, then lock on the pressure cooker's lid. Set a timer for 9 minutes. Bring the cooker up to full pressure, then reduce the heat to maintain that level. Cook until the timer goes off.

Take the cooker off the heat and wait 3 minutes, then put the pot in the sink and run cold water over it to release the pressure. Open the cooker; the rice should be creamy. Return the pot to the stovetop over medium heat. Add the butter, asparagus, cheese and chives. Stir until heated through and the butter and cheese have melted. Season with salt and pepper.

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EDITOR'S NOTE: Elizabeth Karmel is a grilling and Southern foods expert and executive chef at Hill Country Barbecue Market restaurants in New York and Washington, as well as Hill Country Chicken in New York. She is the author of three cookbooks, including "Soaked, Slathered and Seasoned."

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