Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Butternut Squash Risotto

My baby signed "more" today. Why you ask? She wanted more Butternut Squash Risotto.

The extra dishes and hour of prep and stirring were well worth it.

Last night, the Good Apple and I were watching Alton Brown's episode about rice.  He constructed this recipe while featuring the in's and out's of risotto. We watched it...twice, then we started talking. What would WE add? Which veggie? Which spices? Garlic? Of course. When would we eat it?

As the hour approached for GA to leave work today, I sent him a text. "Stop by store for Arborio and white wine?" His response, "yes". Done deal.

While making the masterpiece, we juggled kid duties back and forth. He felt this urge to keep taking the Dutch Oven off the heat. Ugh. Time for me to jump back in and... Put. It. Back. On. The. Heat.  "But Alton says...". Scoot over sweetheart, this is my recipe now. Said with a smile. Really. He can do his version someday, just not today.

This is a 3-pot-meal. One for the broth, one for the butternut squash, and one for the risotto itself. In addition, it is the frequent stirring that gives risotto it's creamy consistency that brought every family member back for more. This is not a dish where you can pop the ingredients into a pot and walk away for an hour. Watch it. Stir it. When the bottom gives you a little sizzley pop sound, it is time to add more broth.

Healthy. Affordable. Fills the belly. Perfection. Risotto. A new family fall favorite. More please.

Butternut Squash Risotto
Adapted from Alton Brown's recipe as seen on Good Eats.

8 cups organic chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups Arborio rice
12 ounces organic butternut squash, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 cup grated Parmesan

In a medium saucepan with a lid, pour 7 cups of chicken broth and keep it simmering.

In a small pot, combine butternut squash and remaining cup of chicken broth over medium heat until, squash is just tender then remove from the heat. Do not overcook or it will become mushy when mixed with the arborio rice.

In a large 3 to 4-quart heavy saucepan or Dutch oven,  melt the butter over medium heat.
Add the onions, basil and a pinch of salt and sweat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the grains are translucent around the edges. Do not allow the grains or the onions to brown. Add garlic.

Reduce the heat to low. Add 1 cup of wine and some of your simmering chicken stock just to cover the top of the rice. Stir often with a wooden spoon or silicon spatula, until the liquid is completely absorbed into rice. Once absorbed, add enough broth just to cover the rice and continue stirring. Continue this process until you have used all of the broth. It will take approximately 45 minutes for all of the liquid to be absorbed. After the last addition of liquid has been mostly absorbed, add the butternut squash and broth and stir until risotto is creamy. Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan. Taste and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper until you taste perfection.

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  1. Sounds so yummy! And very exciting that your little one wanted more:)
    PS. I LOVE risotto, and once saw a chef on my favourite cooking show make it with cold stock (!)... I tried it and it was just as good so have made it that way since! One less pot:)

  2. Thanks for the new recipe-it sounds perfect for these foggy nights we've been having. Alton Brown is one of our favorites, too! I love your blog, and I've nominated you for the 'My Blog Is Great!" award! Come over to mamawolfe and see what you won! http://mamawolfe-living.blogspot.com/2011/11/sassy-lady-bloggers.html

  3. I love squash and risotto. And for someone like me, inept in the kitchen, the recipe seems pretty easy. :) wish me luck as I try to brave the kitchen.

  4. So excited to hear about the signing success! We sign "more" without fail and are waiting for the little guy to catch on. Such a yummy dish, I'm not surprised your little one wanted more!

  5. Awww, I had forgotten about the "more" sign. My oldest daughter came home from daycare doing that all the time and for a while we couldn't figure out why or what it meant. Then I saw her teacher at daycare do it when talking to the kids during a morning drop off. I remember laughing out loud that my child had been communicating with us all along and we were the ones who didn't understand. Love the recipe, as usual. Another one to print off and try out. :)


  6. I want to teach my daughter to sign. At what age did you start?

    I love risotto. That looks tasty.


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