If you’re anything like us, risotto is one of those decadent dishes that you marvel at on restaurant menus but never actually get around to making for yourself. While it may not be the most difficult dish to cook, it requires constant attention for the better part of 30 minutes, rendering it an extremely difficult dish to whip-up on a weeknights or any other time when you might have to tackle two tasks at once.
Unfortunately, however, these barriers have not stopped us from pining after risotto every time we hear about it or read a recipe for a delicious variation on the classic Italian rice. After all, not only is risotto incredibly creamy and delicious, but also infinitely customizable, lending itself to decadent flavor customization that ranges from seafood to pumpkin and everything in-between.
That’s why we were so excited when we heard about celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck’s genius risotto hack. The chef reports that, contrary to popular belief, it’s totally possible to make delicious risotto without all the stirring—all you need is a rice cooker. Apparently, the everyday appliance keeps the rice so moist that you don’t even have to stir until the very end, and even then the process only lasts around a minute. We’ve included Puck’s recipe for Rice Cooker Mushroom Risotto below, but feel free to customize the flavoring and vegetables in any way you see fit—just don’t alter the variety of rice or the amount of liquid!
Wolfgang Puck’s Rice Cooker Mushroom Risotto
1/2 pound assorted fresh organic mushrooms, such as shiitakes, chanterelles, Portobellos, cremini, or regular cultivated mushrooms
1-1/2 cups Arborio rice, rinsed in a strainer and drained well
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2-1/2 to 3 cups organic chicken broth or vegetable broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 large garlic clove, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
With a damp towel, wipe the mushrooms clean. With a small, sharp knife, trim off tough or dirty stems. Then, cut the mushrooms into thick, uniform slices.
Put the rinsed and drained rice in a bowl. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and stir well to coat the rice evenly. Put the rice in the rice cooker. Add 2 cups of the broth along with the wine, and 1-1/2 teaspoons of the salt. Stir well.
Close the lid of the rice cooker and press the "Cook" button. Cook for 20 minutes, and then switch the control to the "Keep Warm" setting.
While the rice is cooking, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute, stirring continuously, for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring continuously, until the mushrooms are juicy and tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat. Taste and, if necessary, adjust the seasonings with more salt and pepper. Set aside.
Carefully open the lid of the rice cooker. Stir in the sauteed mushrooms, 1/2 cup of the broth, the butter, parsley, and Parmesan. The mixture should have a creamy consistency; but, if it does not, stir in up to another 1/2 cup of the broth. Continue stirring for about 1 minute longer; then, taste and adjust the seasonings again, if necessary.
Spoon the risotto into heated wide, shallow bowls or soup plates. Serve immediately, passing additional Parmesan at the table for anyone who would like more.