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Pressure Cooker Beet Risotto with Brown Butter Shrimp and Chive Oil

This entire dish was inspired by the chives in my garden. I started off knowing that I wanted to make some chive oil and then spent the rest of the morning wondering what the chive oil would go with.

I have discovered that I really love the way vegetables with a higher sugar content come out when I pressure cooker them. It seems like the intense heat concentrates the sugars and the flavours are much more intense than when I roast or steam them. I am not sure if that is true but it's my story and I am sticking to it!

Beet risotto is as beautiful as it is tasty and I knew that the green chive oil would be gorgeous against the rich, red risotto and then, once I got that far, it seemed a natural fit to add something that was a bit spicy to top the whole thing off. The risotto is almost sweet so the spicy, nutty shrimp are the perfect foil.

You could make the risotto in a pan, on the stove top like this too, but the pressure cooker makes it quick and dirty and the resulting risotto really is amazing.

I will be honest and admit that since I got the Instant Pot, I haven't made risotto in a pan once. Also, the fact that the pressure cooker takes at least 5 minutes to come to pressure and then cooks at pressure for another six minutes means that your hands are freed up for a good 10 minutes or so and that allows you to make something else, like these shrimp. With a classic risotto, you are chained to the stove for half an hour, stirring constantly and that means that you can't be doing anything else unless, of course, you have more than 2 hands, which I do not.

Pressure Cooker Beet Risotto with Brown Butter Shrimp and Chive Oil

serves 4-6

Chive Oil
20 g chives (small handful)
50ml olive oil
pinch kosher salt

Put the chives, oil and salt into a small mini chopper or a bullet and whiz it up. Let it sit on the counter for about an hour and then strain the oil out using a very fine mesh strainer and put the oil aside.

1 tbls butter
1tbl olive oil
1 small, sweet onion, finely diced
1/2 bulb fennel, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1.5 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup rose wine
3 small beets, peeled and grated
3 1/2 cups chicken broth (you can use veg broth too)
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
2 tbls of butter

Heat your pressure cooker on saute until it's hot. Add the butter and the oil and saute the onion and fennel until soft, about 5 minutes, stirring often, taking care not to let it burn. Add in the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds before adding in the rice. Stirring constantly, saute the rice for another couple of minutes, until the rice starts to look opaque and then pour in the rose. Stir until the wine is almost gone and then add in the beets, a bay leaf and the broth, stir well.
Lock in the lid with the vent closed and program the pressure cooker for 6 minutes at high pressure.

When the time is up, do a quick release and take off the lid. At this point, the rice should still be a bit soupy and if it's not, add a bit more broth or water and stir. Let it cook for another few minutes with the lid off while you do the shrimp, stirring from time to time.

When the shrimp is finished, turn the pressure cooker off, add in the parmesan and the butter and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until melted and incorporated into the rice.

1/4 cup salted butter
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbls fresh thyme
pinch chili flake (or to taste)
1 lb large shrimp, shell off but leave the tail on if you like

Heat the butter over med heat until it starts to foam and brown (it will start to smell nice and nutty). Add in the garlic and the chili flake and saute for a minute before throwing the shrimp and the thyme in. Toss the shrimp to coat it in the butter and then cook until the shrimp are white and opaque (depending on the size of the shrimp, this could be anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove from heat.

To Serve:

Spoon the rice into a shallow dish and top each serving with some of the shrimp, making sure that you give the shrimp another good stir to make sure it's totally coated in the butter before removing them from the pan. Drizzle some of the chive oil over the entire thing and top with fennel fronds if you kept them.

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