10.20.2010

Butternut Squash Risotto + Roasted Brussels Sprouts


On Monday night the hubs and I made our first fall-inspired dish of the season, a repeat recipe from last year. The risotto recipe comes from MSCHEF on AllRecipes, and the Brussels sprouts from the fabulous Ina Garten (i.e. The Barefoot Contessa) on Food Network.

It's only suppose to make 4 servings and 6 servings, respectively, but together they're so filling that we've been able to spread it out into 2 dinners and 1 lunch. And the flavor only gets better each day.

Butternut Squash Risotto



Ingredients

2 cups peeled & cubed butternut squash
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 onion, minced
1 cup Arborio rice
1/3 dry white wine
5 cups hot chicken stock (I used vegetable since I'm a vegetarian)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt & ground black pepper to taste

Directions

Add just enough water to a large saucepan to cover the bottom. Insert a steamer basket. Place cubed squash in the basket.


Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Allow squash to steam until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and mash in a bowl with a fork.



Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until the onion begins to soften.

TIP: Have your husband on hand to come in right before you're about to add the rice to tell you that you've carefully measured out long-grain instead of Arborio. And yes, there's a big difference. Oops.

The right stuff.

Stir in Arborio rice.

TIP: What I've learned, and it's never let me down, is to cook the rice and onion until the edges of the rice grains become transparent. Then you know it's time to add the wine.

Once edges of rice are transparent, pour in white wine and cook, stirring constantly, until it has evaporated.


Stir in the mashed squash 1/3 of the hot stock. Reduce heat to medium. Cook and stir until the stock has been absorbed by the rice, 5 to 7 minutes.



TIP: I couldn't give you a risotto recipe without insisting on the following (and because I know my grandma will read this and she'll be disappointed in me if I don't mention it): Heat your stock in a saucepan to just below boiling before adding it to the rice. Not only does it help the flavor cook into the rice more, but adding cold broth can result in the centers of the rice being hard and uncooked.

Add half the remaining stock and continue stirring until it has been absorbed. Pour in the remaining stock and continue stirring until the risotto is creamy. Remove from heat, stir in Parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.

TIP: I also like to add a couple tablespoons of butter once everything is cooked. Gives is a punch of buttery flavor and adds some creaminess.

If you're still waiting on the Brussels sprouts, take some time off and take a picture of your favorite dog.




Roasted Brussels Sprouts



Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
3 tablespoons good olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut off the brown ends of the sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Mix them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper.

Pour them onto a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.


Shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly. Remove from oven and sprinkle with more kosher salt and serve immediately.



Buon appetito!


{Images by Parismonia}

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