Introduction: Microwave Risotto
Risotto is amazing and delicious, but it can be intimidating and a little too labor intensive (if you're sleep-deprived or hung over, for example). Both microwave and stove-top risottos become rich and creamy because of the high starch content of the rice used; since the starch washes off of the rice and thickens the liquid into a sauce as the dish cooks. While slow additions of stock and constant stirring yield a dish that's comforting and filling, sometimes faster meals are a better option.
One of my all-time favorite teachers shared this recipe with my calculus class during my senior year of high school, and it rescued me from suffering through many tummy-grumbling all-nighters in college - thank you, Mr. Barrett!
Step 1: You'll Need. . .
- 2 1/2 tablespoons butter (use vegan butter substitute to make it vegan)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced or squished into a paste
- 1 small/medium onion, chopped (I like sweet onions, but you can use shallots whatever strikes your fancy)
- 1 1/2 cups broth or stock (I'm using veggie stock, but you can use chicken or whatever type you prefer)1
- 1 cup Arborio rice (usually near the standard rice in grocery stores - it tends to be a little more expensive but it makes a huge difference in the dish)
- 3/4 cup white wine (you can substitute water if you're concerned about using booze)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (if you'd like to make it vegan, you can omit the cheese but if you do use it, please don't use the pre-grated stuff)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mushrooms, peas, herbs (optional - whatever you'd like to add will probably taste great)
- A large-ish microwave-safe bowl
- Measuring cup
- Plastic wrap
- Oven mitt
1You can use canned/store-bought broth or stock if you'd like. I prefer to make a huge batch of stock from veggie trimmings and freeze it in ice cube trays - if you go this route you'll need 12 cubes (2 cubes = 1/4 cup)
Step 2: Onions and Garlic
- Chop the onion and smash up or mince the garlic
- If you're using frozen cubes of stock, thaw them out
- In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter, olive oil, garlic, and onion
- Microwave on high for 2 1/2 minutes (If you'd like to include mushrooms/squash/other veggies that require a little more cook time, toss them in at this point as well)
Step 3: Ricey Goodness
- Add the Arborio rice into the onion and butter mixture, stir, and microwave for 35 seconds to warm the grains just a tiny bit
- Stir in the broth or stock, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave for about 6 minutes (make sure to use oven mitts - the bowl will be hot)
- Remove the plastic wrap and stir in the wine
Step 4: Finishing Touches
- Microwave on high for about 8 minutes or until most of the liquid has cooked into the rice (make sure to use oven mitts, the bowl will be really hot)
- Stir in the cheese (and peas or other quick-cooking veggies if using)
- Season with salt and pepper as needed
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