Monday, October 31, 2011

On the Road Again

It's that time of year again, I'm out on the road visiting independent cooking schools, teaching cooking classes, sometimes 2 a day as I cross the mid-west, and then head to the East Coast.  I'm currently in Indiana visiting my son in Bloomington, home of the IU Hoosiers.  Ryan is an IU alum, and sports writer, and if I didn't plan these trips, I probably wouldn't get to see him as often as I do.  I spent last week in West Lafayette, IN at KitchenArt and CooksWares in Cincinnati. 

I'll be heading back to West Lafayette tomorrow for 2 more classes before heading East to Carlisle, PA and The Kitchen Shoppe, ending my book tour in Chapel Hill, NC at A Southern Season.  The theme for this fall's travels is pressure cooking; my book, The Easy Pressure Cooker Cookbook is out, and the students are loving the recipes, easy of use, and the food that comes out a pressure cooker. Risotto in 7 minutes without stirring?  I think I need that!

We all remember the stories about grandma's pressure cooker that exploded, and sent split peas showering everyone within a 2 mile radius; today's new slow cookers are sleek stainless steel pots, with so many safety features it's next to impossible to have anything go wrong. 

 So as I pack up my bags, and get ready for another day, I'll share this risotto recipe that is fast and fabulous from the pressure cooker, I hope you'll go into your local independent cooking school and ask about pressure cookers, and see if this isn't a piece of equipment that you need, I know I'm sold!

White Risotto

Serves 6

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups Carnaroli or Vialone Nano rice
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, or dry vermouth
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper (optional)
1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter with the oil in the pressure cooker over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and sauté for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the rice and toss to coat. Pour in the wine and broth and lock the lid in place. Cook at high pressure for 8 minutes.

Quick release the pressure and remove the lid, tilting the pot away from you to allow the steam to escape. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and the cheese. Taste the rice for seasoning, adding salt and pepper if necessary. Allow the rice to stand for 2 minutes and stir again. If the risotto is not quite cooked, give it another minute over medium heat. Serve in shallow bowls, and drizzle with some of the balsamic vinegar.

 Wishing you all a safe and happy Halloween from the crossroads of America.


  1. Hurray for Diane and her new cookbook and class! I have been testing out the pressure cooker and the cookbook. Although my daughter calls the pressure cooker, "The procrastinators crock pot" it really IS fabulous! We have been trying out recipes and each one has been a hit. We tried the butternut squash risotto, the steak au poive, minestrone, and the minestrone with farro and so far everything has been delicious! I am just keeping the book out on the dinner table and we will continue to work our way through it. Thanks again Diane, you are making me look SO good!

  2. wow the book looks amazing!! I am so excited for you!! oxo