Microwave Cooking Recipes: Risotto

How much do you actually cook in your microwave, versus reheating and defrosting?

All this week,  appliance specialist Angela Warner has been judging the “Twin Cities Live” Microwave Cooking Challenge, which challenges contestants to create delicious and fun meals cooked only in the microwave.

Contestants like “Next Food Network Star” contestant Justin Davis and Cities 97’s BT came up with really creative microwave recipes — even microwave cake recipes!

Yes cake…and nachos.

Angela’s on “Twin Cities Live” (on KSTP Channel 5) again at 3 today and tomorrow. You can find the contestants easy microwave recipes (and the not-so easy, too) here, here and here.

AND you can win this Danby stainless microwave from Warners’ Stellian by entering on the Twin Cities Live website.

Coincidentally, we got a microwave cooking book from Panasonic this week, and I thought I’d share this recipe for risotto.

Risotto, that creamy rice pasta, sometimes scares people off because it’s heavy on the “active time” equation of the process (you basically stir for at least 30 minutes nonstop). So the idea of making it in a microwave intrigued me. Let me know if you try this!

Risotto a la Parmigiana Microwave Recipe

From MasterChefs Microwave Recipes Made Easy

Ingredients

5-1/2 cups stock
2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 minced yellow onion
2-1/4 cups Carnaroli or Arborio rice
3/4 dry white wine, warmed
1 cup grated Parmesan
5 tbsp. butter cut into 1 T. pieces
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Directions (note: P10, etc. refers to the power level setting on your microwave)

1. Place the stock and salt in a microwave-safe bowl, cover with a lid or plastic wrap and simmer at P10 for 8 minutes. Reserve, keeping the stock covered and hot.

2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the oil and onion and cook covered at P10 for 2-1/2 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.

3. Add the rice to the onion and oil mixture, stir to combine and cook at P7 uncovered for 4 minutes, stirring every minute.

4. Add the warm wine and cook at P7 for 3 minutes, or until wine is mostly absorbed.

5. Add enough stock to barely cover rice and cook at P7 uncovered for 3 minutes, or until about 75% of the liquid as been absorbed; stir. Repeat this process until all the stock is used.

6. When the rice is cooked to al dente, remove from the microwave and quickly stir in the butter, grated Parmesan cheese and ground black pepper. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.

Grilling doughnuts on ‘Twin Cities Live’

Carla Warner and I got to spend some time grilling outside with the awesome people at KSTP’s “Twin Cities Live” yesterday.

>> See the video

A rare picture of me, left, posing with TCL's Emily Engberg and Carla Warner in front of the Grilled Doughnuts on the Viking gas grill.

I love to cook, so I volunteered to whip up 3 unconventional recipes on 3 of our favorite grills.

On the Big Green Egg, we made Bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers

Hollow jalapenos and completely fill with cream cheese. Wrap with raw bacon and secure with toothpick. Grill on the Big Green Egg or other grill using indirect heat at 350-375 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

On the Vermont Castings, we made Margherita pizza

Heat grill to medium heat. Sprinkle with cornmeal and roll out fresh, refrigerated pizza dough ball to no more than 1/4-inch thickness. Either oil grill grates or place pizza stone on grill. Grill dough covered for 5 minutes. Top with Kowalski’s Signature Pizza Sauce, slices of Kowalski’s fresh mozzarella and sliced Roma tomato. Grill for another 3-5 minutes or until cheese is golden brown. Top with fresh basil and serve.

And on the Viking Grill, we made — you’ll never guess — Grilled doughnuts

Grill Pillsbury Grands refrigerated biscuits on a cookie sheet (or well-oiled grill grate) using indirect heat at about 375 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, melt a stick of butter in a grill-safe bowl away from direct heat. Dip warm biscuits in the melted butter and roll in cinnamon sugar.

DIY Network ‘Rehab Addict’ Nicole Curtis talks appliances on Twin Cities Live

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I got to tag along yesterday as “Twin Cities Live” toured the lastest renovation project (watch the video) of Nicole Curtis, star of DIY Network’s “Rehab Addict” (watch new episodes Thursday at 9 p.m. CST).

(Also, you can meet Nicole and hear her “5 Ways to Increase the Resale Value of your Home” at our Edina store Wednesday, Feb. 23. )

Nicole Curtis, left, poses in her beautifully remodeled kitchen with Twin Cities Live reporter Emily Engberg.

I couldn’t stop gushing over the way the house now looked, having toured it (kind of) almost two months ago for the appliance delivery.

White kitchen remodel
Built-in microwave cabinet
Gorgeous, huh? The so-called kitchen episode of “Rehab Addict” airs March 3, but we’ll be premiering it with Nicole at our upcoming, in-store event.