Pressure cooker risotto with sumac roasted butternut

Risotto isn’t a dish that’s ever really excited me, but since getting my pressure cooker and learning that you can use one to cook risotto, I thought about it giving it a go.

If you didn’t know about this already, just stop for a moment to think. That means no adding stock gradually and no stirring constantly. It means risotto can in fact be a ‘set and forget’ dish and sometimes, there’s nothing wrong with that.

After a few attempts to get it ‘just right’, this dish has quickly become a weeknight staple in my household, well and truly proving that risotto can be good – and simple.

Pressure cooker risotto with sumac roasted butternut
Serves 4

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tbsp sumac
1/2 butternut pumpkin, peeled and diced
1 red onion, diced
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 1/2 c arborio rice
3 1/4 c vegetable stock
1/2 c dry white wine
1 tsp salt
1/4 c nutritional yeast flakes
1 tbsp non-dairy butter (i.e. Nuttelex)
1 c chopped baby spinach

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

Toss butternut pumpkin with 1 tbsp olive oil and sumac then place in the oven until cooked and browning on the edges. Set aside.

While the pumpkin is cooking, heat remaining 1 tbsp olive oil to pressure cooker and the onion. After a few minutes when the onion starts to brown, add garlic powder and rice. Mix continuously until rice starts to become translucent.

Add stock, white wine and salt. Then, put the lid on and wait for it to reach pressure. Once at pressure, cook for 5 minutes.

Quick release the pressure and mix through the yeast flakes, butter and spinach. Return the lid to your pressure cooker and let it sit for about five minutes.

Gently fold the roasted pumpkin through when ready to serve.

Hot and sour soup {pressure cooker/Instant Pot}

I’m not the biggest fan of soups, but sometimes I’ll surprise myself and get a craving for a cleansing soup like hot and sour.

You can make this in a regular saucepan instead of a pressure cooker – it will take longer than five minutes to get the soup really flavoursome by going way of conventional cooking.

I was originally going to use bok choy in this soup, but I had a beautiful fresh bunch of gai lan (Chinese broccoli) and at the last minute, I decided to use it instead. While you could swap the gai lan out for another Asian green like pak choy or bok choy, gai lan really makes it special. It’s a seriously underrated vegetable that deserves some time in the spotlight.

Pressure cooker/Instant Pot hot and sour soup
Serves 4

1.5L vegetable stock
1 c dried shiitake mushrooms
3 garlic cloves
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, sliced
1/4 c gluten-free soy sauce
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp sesame oil
150g tofu, sliced into squares and baked for 15 minutes
50g firm tofu, roughly thickly grated
1/2 carrot, julienned
Bunch of gai lan (Chinese broccoli), stalks trimmed
1/2 c rinsed bamboo shoots (optional)
Pinch of salt
1/4 distilled white vinegar
3 spring onions, sliced

Put all ingredients excluding white vinegar and spring onions into pressure cooker. Bring to pressure and keep it at pressure for five minutes.

Release pressure then add white vinegar and spring onions. Stir and ladle soup into bowls.

Pressure cooker Thai red curry

Earlier this year I spent a few days with my parents on the South Coast of NSW. While I was there, I was introduced to the wonderful world of pressure cooking; they had recently bought one for themselves.

Naturally, it didn’t take long until I was the proud owner of a stovetop pressure cooker. The stovetop cooker appealed to me because I can also use it as a giant stock pot, start a pressure cooked meal by sauteing some spices or ingredients, or reduce a pressure cooked sauce after cooking if I have too much liquid leftover.

Since the purchase, I have been using my pressure cooker two to three times a week. It makes for easier and quicker meals and accentuates the flavour. In fact meals that can take over an hour by conventional means can be ready in 15 to 20 minutes. With my work schedule it has certainly made my life easier and provided more ‘me’ time…highly recommended for stews, curries and soups.

Pressure cooker Thai red curry
Serves 4-6

1 tin Maesri panang curry paste
400ml coconut milk
100g firm tofu, cubed
1/2-1 cup vegetable stock
2 large kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced
2 carrots, sliced diagonally
1 red onion, chopped
1 bunch broccolini, ends trimmed
150g green beans, ends trimmed
2 tbsp + 1 tbsp vegan fish sauce, divided
1 tbsp + 1 tbsp coconut sugar, divided
Juice of 2 limes, divided

Add all ingredients into your pressure cooker excluding the 1 tbsp vegan fish sauce, 1 tbsp coconut sugar and juice of one lime. Stir to combine.

Turn on the heat and bring to pressure. Once at pressure, turn down the heat slightly and set a timer for one minute. After one minute, remove pot from the heat and release the pressure.

Add remaining 1 tbsp vegan fish sauce, 1 tbsp coconut sugar and juice of one lime. Stir through and adjust to taste. Then, serve with rice.