Question: why do restaurants charge $15 for a plate of risotto, which is essentially just rice, wine/broth, spices, and some veggies?
Answer: because you have to stir...and stir...and stir....and stir...until your arm wants to fall off.
Been there, done that.
I've made risotto from scratch twice, and it was good...but not great. Definitely not as creamy as ones I've had in restaurants. So, I decided that rather than slaving away at the stove for mediocre results, or shelling out $15 for a plate of rice, I'd sacrifice quality and authenticity in exchange for almost no time at the stove. No stirring and very little attention required here, folks.
I give you: slow-cooker risotto.
This recipe for Mushroom Risotto relies on pantry-staples (rice, broth, dried mushrooms, wine, garlic, shallots, spices) and just two fresh ingredients (fresh mushrooms and parsley). After a quick saute of the shallots and garlic, and a 30-minute soak of the dried mushrooms, the whole kit and kaboodle gets dumped into the slow cooker for 2 hours. Voila, nearly-instant risotto. Sorry for the crappy lighting in the picture, but hey, if you're too lazy to make risotto, you're also too lazy to turn on the flash.