The Instant Pot is the most basic white girl thing this side of athleisure wear and waiting with bated breath for Starbucks to unleash pumpkin spice lattes. You know what? The Instant Pot freaking rocks and I am not going to apologize.
Sure, the small appliance miracle known as the Instant Pot can make yogurt and serve as a countertop canner and do a hundred other things you can discover down the rabbit hole that is Pinterest. Do you know what the Instant Pot is really good at? Letting you make something for dinner on a weeknight that would have been near impossible.
How so? How about weeknight risotto? Unless you are unemployed or you’re a masochist who wants to make their children wait until after 8:00 for dinner risotto is something reserved for the weekend. All of that stirring and careful addition of stock at just the right temperature is not something you undertake on a weeknight. Banish the complexity and embrace the Instant Pot.
Mushroom risotto is cutting board to plate in less than an hour. While the Instant Pot is coming to pressure and cooking use that time to prepare a quick salad and additional side if you are feeling frisky.
How easy? Here you go:
- Set Instant Pot to “Saute.” Melt about 4 tablespoons butter. Add 8 to 16 ounces of diced mushrooms—choose your favorite variety.
- Stir infrequently until mushrooms release liquid. Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of soy sauce. Continue sautéing until the remaining liquid begins to thicken.
- Add an entire diced onion and a couple of diced shallots. Saute until soft or your preference.
- Once the vegetable mixture begins to stick to the bottom of the pot liner move to one side. Add a nice coating of olive oil. Once heated add two cups of Arborio rice and stir until most grains show the white dot.
- Deglaze the pan with some white wine. I use cheapo leftover chardonnay.
- Add four cups of chicken or vegetable stock. Make sure that there is no rice stuck to the sides of the pot liner above the liquid level.
- Put the lid on and set for 10 minutes.
- Once the time is up do a manual release of the pressure and stir in some parmesan cheese.
That is it. Are the measurements—save for the rice and stock—hazy at best? Yep. I do not get hung up on a cup of onions or a quarter cup of shallots. It’s a preference thing. Sometimes the mushrooms at the farmers market look amazing and I add more than usual. Sometimes the onions available are kind of junk, so I go light on those.
This is the best thing about the Instant Pot. It took a somewhat fussy dish like risotto and made it something so easy that I am inclined to let it be an improv moment. I would never have done that staring an hour of stirring stock in ladle by ladle.
This is what things we bring into our lives do: make things easier and make things fun. For me, the Instant Pot does just that and I ask no more of it. Now, if I could just figure out when Starbucks was going to bring back pumpkin spice lattes…