Thursday, November 17, 2011

butternut squash risotto


























I've decided risotto is my high maintenance child (dish). It is the one that needs the constant, 'consume every second of your life' attention along with perfect temperature and perfect amount of liquid and just the right amount of salt and then the stars and planets have to line up in just the exact formation of a single grain of rice and then - and only then - do I produce perfect risotto! Not really. But this week it felt like it since I made three different risottos. And it's only Thursday!
Risotto really only takes about twenty minutes. But, the secret? stir, stir, stir, stir, stir.....you get the idea. If you can dedicate twenty minutes of your undivided attention to one pot it will yield you a perfectly delectable and satisfying dish. This one has the sweetness of the butternut squash married to the saltiness of the parmesan cheese with the earthiness of the fresh sage and thyme. Truly delicious. I hope you can give it a try. 


note: my apologies for the lack of photos - having some technical difficulties with the camera.


YOU WILL NEED:


dutch oven
other pot to warm chicken broth
baking sheet 
1 medium butternut squash
olive oil
salt
pepper
1 1/2 cups risotto
around 6 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 a small onion
2 finely chopped cloves of garlic
1/4 cup chopped fresh sage (or about that)
1 tablespoon thyme (maybe 2)
1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese plus more for serving


TO DO:


oven to 400
peel the squash
evenly chop into small pieces - about the size of dice - maybe a tad bigger
place all the squash in a bowl
toss with a tablespoon or two of olive oil
salt and pepper
stir well
spread out onto baking sheet
roast about 15 - 20 minutes
until fork tender
when done - set aside until ready to use


note here: i did not use the entire squash - the rest of it i served as a side dish at dinner 


RISOTTO:


in a small pot bring the chicken broth to a simmer - turn to low and keep warm.
in a dutch oven melt the one tablespoon of butter - medium heat.
add two tablespoons of olive oil.
add the chopped onion.
cook 3 or 4 minutes until onion is translucent.
add garlic.
cook another couple minutes.
add rice.
stir well - make sure all the rice is coated. 
add three cups of the warm chicken broth.
stir
stir
stir
etc.....


when it starts looking like you are running out of liquid add another cup of broth.
stir.
stir.
stir.
in another three minutes or so add another cup of broth.
stir some more.
taste for doneness.
you want the rice to be soft but still have a little bite in the center.
you do NOT want it to go the route of baby food.
if rice still seems too hard add a little more broth and keep stirring.


when the rice is ready add two cups of butternut squash and the herbs.
you may want to add more of the squash or adjust the amount of sage and thyme - i'm sure it will still taste great
add the 1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese
stir well


serve immediately - garnished with more cheese









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