Mushroom Risotto in a Pressure Cooker or Instant

 "The belly rules the mind." --  Spanish Proverb

"The belly rules the mind." --  Spanish Proverb

I 've been busy in the studio.  And when I get this busy, the necessity for good food is even more important. Eating a homecooked meal allows me to slow down a moment, destress and catch up on the news with my daughter.  I love certain dishes, but they can take an age to prepare, such as risotto. Several weeks ago I purchased a pressure cooker / slow cooker which is now branded as Instapot.  I swear, this gadget ranks up there with my favorite iron skillet.  Risotto in just 15 minutes from prep to eating.  Unbelievable!

Here is my recipe, adapted from the book Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure by Lorna J. Sass:

Ingredients

8oz of sliced portabello mushrooms
3 leeks, thinly slicked
1 t of minced garlic
2.5 cups of mushroom stock (a low salt variety is best)
1 cups of boiling water
1 T of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup of dry white wine (or better yet - dry cooking sherry)
1.5 cups of arborio rice
1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese (not that nasty cardboard stuff from a green canister!) 

Directions

Add the olive oil to the pan.  (I have an electric pressure cooker with a browning setting.)  Add leeks and sautee until wilted.  Add mushrooms and garlic and sautee until the mushrooms have wilted and are slightly smaller.

Add the arborio rice and sautee, stirring to coat the rice with the oil. The rice will turn slightly transparent along the edges.

Add the stock, water and wine. Stir.

Put the lid on and lock into place

Set to high pressure.  Once it has reached high pressure, cook for 5 minutes.

Open the quick release valve.  Careful!  Don't scald yourself!

Open the lid, check the rice.  If not to right consistency, add a little more stock and cook on browning until you achieve what you desire.  I like mine creamy and with my cooker, I get it perfect without trouble.   In case you don't achieve the same results on the first go, add the stock for more creaminess.

Stir in the Parmesan cheese. 

Enjoy!

For more about arborio rice, check out this website.

Free Recipe :: Low Sugar Cherry Rhubarb Jam

 Cooking and baking is both physical and mental therapy. --  Mary Berry  

Cooking and baking is both physical and mental therapy. --  Mary Berry
 

When we first moved into my old  home in Chicago, I planted a sour cherry tree. I nurtured it and soon enough it was fully mature and producing thousands of cherries. The annual harvest begins around the 4th of July and lasts a few weeks. Now, I miss that tree. The humidity of St. Louis, isn't conducive to growing cherry trees. Alas.

In 2013, my last summer in Chicago, we had a bumper crop, so neighbors came to help.  We’ve been making jams, ice creams and pies, sharing recipes back and forth.  This is my recipe for cherry rhubarb jam. It’s low in sugar and full of flavor.  I love it with corn bread, but I bet it would go well with vanilla ice cream or even a slice of cheddar.

©2013Lindsay-Obermeyer-Cherries.jpg

Ingredients

  • 4 cups pitted sour cherries
  • 1 cup of chopped rhubarb
  • 1T low sugar pectin (We use Pomona's Universal Pectin .)
  • 2 t calcium water (The powder to make the water is included in the Pomona package.)
  • 1T  fresh lemon juice
  • 2c sugar

Equipment

  • Large pot with lid
  • Canning kettle with lid
  • Deep skillet
  • Cutting board
  • Cherry Pitter
  • Knife
  • Canning jar lifter
  • Canning funnel
  • Tongs
  • Citrus juicer
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Canning jars

 Invest in a cherry pitter. While you can pit cherries using a knife, it is easier with a pitter.

Let’s cook!

This recipe makes approximately 6 cups of jam.

  1. Thoroughly wash your fruit. A strainer and a faucet with a spray nozzle attachment will quickly get the job done. 
  2. Pit the cherries and chop the rhubarb into 1/4” chunks. Mix them together. Add lemon juice and calcium water. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to simmer.
     
  3. Mix the pectin powder with the sugar. Blend thoroughly and add to the pot.  Increase heat and boil for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to simmer as you prepare to can.
     
  4. Use the rolling boil method of canning for 10 minutes. Be sure all your jars, rings and lids are thoroughly clean and sterilized. If you have a dishwasher with a sterilize cycle, you may use it to wash everything just before canning, otherwise sterilize the jars and lids for 10 minutes in your canner at a full boil. HINT: I actually add the lids and rings to a deep skillet filled with water at a full boil to sterilize as they easier to fetch that way.
©2013Lindsay-Obermeyer-Cherry-Jam-recipe.jpg

Recipe :: Festive Cranberry Muffin

 I'm just someone who likes cooking and for whom sharing food is a form of expression.  --  Maya Angelou

I'm just someone who likes cooking and for whom sharing food is a form of expression.  --  Maya Angelou

Cranberries need to be pulled from ranks of sauce and given their full due as a fruit.  These muffins are the perfect blend of sweet and tart. The bright dots of red color add a festive note to what is essentially a basic muffin.

I adapted this recipe from The Joy of Cooking by Mrs. Irma S. Rombauer.  This is my basic go-to cookbook for anything and everything even as a vegetarian.  Gam was friends with Mrs. Rombauer and did much of her initial recipe testing.  Gam was the kind of baker who kept a notebook of the weather as she baked.  An overcast sky always meant baking times would be slightly longer.  She instinctively understood the chemical reactions of baking soda, baking powder and the various liquids such as milk, sour cream or yogurt.  Cooking really is a science as much as an art.

This recipe will make a dozen muffins.

First, set your oven at 350 degrees.

Dry Ingredients:
2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt

Whisk together the dry ingredients.

Wet Ingredients:
2 eggs
1 cup milk (I used 2% which has some fat.)
2/3 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
4 tablespoons of melted butter (Don't substitute with vegetable oil.  The muffin won't be nearly as tasty if you do.)

In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Blend them together until just moist.  The batter will still be a bit lumpy, but that's okay.

Fold in 1 1/2 cups of fresh cranberries.

Butter your a muffin tin. 

Divide the batter among the muffin cups.  I like to use an ice cream scoop for this job as the batter is thick.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until top is golden brown.  When a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean, you know the muffins are definitely done.  The slightly longer cooking time than your average muffin is due to the cranberries.

Allow to cool (if you can resist) and serve warm.  Eat them within a few hours of baking or freeze them in a container.  I will take a frozen one, pop it into my little toaster oven and let it warm up at 325 degrees for 10 minutes (or until thoroughly defrosted).  I love how this method makes the exterior of the muffin a bit crispier while preserving the soft quality of the interior of the muffin. Note of caution: you have to let the muffins completely cool off before freezing them. If you don't, they will stick together and be more prone to freezer burn.  They keep nicely for 3 months in the freezer.  Make some ahead of time for New Year's Day brunch.

Vegan Granola Recipe

  When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"    "What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"    "I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.    Pooh nodded thoughtfully. "It's the same thing," he said -- A.A. Milne

When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully. "It's the same thing," he said -- A.A. Milne

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

 

6 cups old fashioned oats

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes

1 cup of nuts ( almond, walnut or pecan)

1 teaspoon of hemp seed

1 crack of salt from salt grinder ( 1/4 teaspoon approx)

1 cup dark agave syrup or maple syrup

1" of grated fresh ginger

 

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.  measure the agave syrup.  Grate the ginger into it.  Mix into syrup. Pour syrup over the dry.  Mix thoroughly.  

Spread the mixture onto a large cake roll sheet ( or cookie sheet with sides).  Bake for 10 min.  Pull out of the oven and mix it.  ( I use a spatula, to flip over the mixture for even toasting).  Bake another 10 minutes.  Repeat.  Do for a total of 30 minutes, mixing every 10 minutes.  The mixture should be a golden color.  

Agave syrup is very sweet, more so than sugar.  So if you don't have a sweet tooth, lower the amount.

Store granola in an air tight container for up to 10 days.

 


I love it with low-fat yogurt or almond milk.  I toss on a few berries too.