I recently procured a New Wave 5-in-1 Multi Cooker, and to be honest, I wasn’t even sure what it exactly what it was capable of! I’m pleased to say, it’s blown me away with its timesaving capability and versatility. It’s quite the nifty little kitchen appliance!
As the name suggests, it’s a 5-in-1 (and also comes in a 6-in-1 version which deep fries) kitchen appliance that is a slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker, soup cooker and steamer all in one. It comes with a sizeable 6L non-stick insert and you can also purchase ceramic or stainless steel inserts separately if non-stick isn’t your thing.
Pressure cooking has always scared me a little, in my imagination dinner is exploded all over the ceiling and face with one wrong switch of a button or a lid opened at the wrong time. Let’s face it, you do need to follow the instructions but the results are so pleasing you will no doubt get over this phobia. So far I’ve made a couple of soups which it is brilliant for as you can brown everything in the pot first, then add your stock, set it to cook for 25 mins or so and you have a lovely soup! When cooked to perfection, I then use a stick blender in the pot for a smooth consistency like the Pumpkin, Leek, & Sweet Potato version I did recently. The machine also features a keep warm function, so you could easily make a lovely big pot of soup in the morning and then keep it warm for lunch. It’s equally ideal for keeping dinner warm if you’ve made it in the afternoon.
As a slow cooker it gives equally excellent results as you can brown your meat and other ingredients first before slow cooking (this has always kind of annoyed me about other slow cookers, because we all know for the best result you really do need to brown your meat first to give maximum flavour, and having to dirty another pan is a tad tiresome IMO and counteracts the convenience factor). On to the risotto!
Shitake Mushroom, Zuchini, Pea and Leek Risotto
Switch the machine to the Brown function and press Start. Add your olive oil and chopped onions and fry up for a few minutes until they are soft and inviting. Pop the garlic in, stir up for a minute or so and then add in the Arborio rice giving it a lovely through mix so the rice is coated evenly with the delicious olive oil.
Give that a cook for 2 minutes and then add in the white wine. At this point you may also like to pour yourself a glass (optional, depending on the time of day).
Give that 2 minutes to cook the alcohol off and then you can add in your sliced mushrooms, chopped celery, and chopped zucchini giving a stir for a minute so they start to soften up. Now press Cancel on the machine and add your stock, giving a final stir. Close the lid, press the High Pressure function, set the time for 7 minutes and press Start, ensuring that the Pressure Limiting Valve on the top is set to Airtight.
At this point you’ll probably wonder what’s going on and why the machine isn’t ticking down time. It’ll take a few minutes or so for the pressure to build up enough and then at that point it will start timing. It may fizzle a small amount out the top (please read up on the instructions to ensure you’re informed about the amount of liquid the machine should / can take.
Once you hear a beep-beep you’re in business. Ensure you release the vale on the top to Exhaust. Or better yet leave the machine for a few minutes to do its own thing and get rid of excess pressure and steam. Open the lid (with baited breath) and huzzuh! Dinner is almost ready!
For a final flourish add a knob of butter, a handful of parmesan and half a cup or so of frozen peas, gave it a stir and popped the lid back on.
Handily, the machine will switch to the keep warm function once it’s finished. And, amazingly it seems to keep food at JUST the right temperature, like goldilocks, it’s not too hot, and its not too cold, it’s just right. Give it a few minutes and then open up, stir and then ladle artfully onto plates and sprinkle liberally with herbs (I used oregano and basil as the poor parsley has been totally overtaken by the tomato plant) grated parmesan. Now, if you are serving this to guest, I’d suggest taking it to the table and then offering freshly cracked pepper.
These electric multi cookers are really handy (there are a number on the market), especially if you have an exceedingly busy life as we all seem to. Risotto in a matter of minutes, soup in half an hour and easy clean up ticks all the boxes!
Would you give an electric multi cooker a go? Do you already have one and what is your favourite dish to make in it?