I have been baking up a storm in the last week or so, and I'll be sharing more cookie posts with you very soon. I wanted to start working through my huge backlog of dinners though, to show you some of the other things I've been doing in my kitchen.
While my mom and auntie were visiting in November, I made a delicious Butternut Squash Risotto for dinner one night. Auntie Jody had never had risotto, and I hope I made her first experience with it a good one! Risotto is such a comfort food for me - I love the creamy starchiness, the versatility, the richness. I'll throw just about anything into risotto, and I'm always happy with the results.
I had never combined butternut squash and risotto, so I used an Ina Garten version of this recipe as a guide, but of course (per usual) made some changes that let the recipe work for me.
Butternut Squash Risotto
adapted from Ina Garten's recipe
1 large butternut squash
2 tbsp. olive oil
6 c. chicken stock
6 tbsp. butter
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 c. arborio rice
1/2 c. white wine
1 c. grated pecorino-romano cheese
1/4 c. fresh parsley
I've documented my risotto method before, and if you'd like step-by-step instructions with pictures, click here.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel and cube the butternut squash. I find this a little easier to do if I pierce it with a fork and microwave it for five to ten minutes first. Toss the cubed squash with the olive oil, and season liberally with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven 25-30 minutes or until softened.
Place the chicken stock in a smaller pot over medium heat. Once the stock begins to simmer, drop the heat to low.
In the meantime, melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onions, salt them, and saute until they are translucent, then add the garlic and saute another minute or two. Add the arborio rice and stir to coat in the butter. Allow the rice to toast for three minutes or so.
Add the white wine to the pot, stirring to allow the rice to soak it up. Once the liquid is gone, ladle about a cup of the chicken stock into the pot. Stir, and when liquid has evaporated, add more. Continue this process until all the liquid is absorbed. The rice should be creamy with an al dente center.
Turn off the heat and add the squash, cheese, and fresh parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.