Monday, September 13, 2010
The Joys of Having Awesome Neighbors
The other night, our wonderful neighbors came over to join us for a one of our patented "what do you have in your fridge?" dinners. I LOVE these dinners! They're creative and usually very local, but best of all, they're casual and cheap. There's not a lot of pressure and it's lovely to enjoy home-cooked food with fun people. This last dinner, we were swimming in our local, organic butternut squash, and since we also had some leftover risotto (arborio) rice and bacon, I decided to make some Butternut Squash Risotto. It's a lot of stirring, but so worth it.
Butternut Squash Risotto
Ingredients: 1 Butternut Squash, Peeled and Cubed
3 Strips of Bacon, Chopped
6 Garlic Cloves, Minced 1 Onion, Diced
2 Tablespoons of Honey
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon of Paprika
Salt and Pepper
2 Cups of Risotto or Arborio Rice
6 Cups of Stock (Your Choice, but I like Chicken)
1-1/2 Cups of Pecorino Romano Cheese, Finely Grated (You could substitute Parmesan)
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Throw your squash into a pot of salted boiling water. Cook until fork tender, meaning when a fork slides easily into the squash, approximately 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a big pot, toss in your bacon, garlic and onion and saute until the onion is translucent. After the squash is done, strain and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle the honey and olive oil over the squash, then sprinkle with the paprika and some salt and pepper. Toss to coat and throw it in the oven at 400 degrees until the squash starts to brown slightly on the edges. Into the pot, add your rice. Stir until the rice is glossy and almost translucent. Smash your squash into a mash, then add to the rice. Add 1/2 cup of stock. Stir until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat with stock and stirring until the rice is cooked through. This is usually about 30 minutes. You may need less or more stock, it's all about how al dente you like your rice. Finally, once the rice is cooked to your liking, add the grated cheese, of which you could reserve a little for topping. Add salt and pepper to taste, then serve and top with the remaining cheese.