Friday, October 10, 2008

Barefoot Bloggers

I wasn't sure that I'd get this BB assignment finished since I'm on vacation this week, but things worked out and I'm avoiding and "incomplete"!!  OK...I'm a day late...again...but get over it.

This one was a HUGE success.  Such comments as "this might be the best risotto you've ever made".  And I have to agree, if I do say so myself.

I think the only thing I changed was substituting applewood smoked bacon for pancetta..which added a wonderful smokey flavor.  Oh, and I didn't have any shallots, so I used a 1/2 a white onion, but other than that.....


Here's the recipe:

1 butternut squash (2 pounds)
2 tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
6 tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
2 ounces pancetta, diced (I used applewood smoked bacon, 2 slices, diced)
1/2 cup minced shallots (I used 1/2 a white onion, diced)
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tsp saffron threads
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds, and cut it into 3/4 inch cubes.  You should have about 4 cups.  Place the squash on a sheet pan and toss it with the olive oil, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper.  Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing once, until very tender.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the chicken stock in a small covered saucepan.  Leave it on low heat to simmer.

In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch-oven, melt the butter and saute the pancetta and shallots on a medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until the shallots are translucent but not browned.  Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with butter.  Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes.  Add 2 full ladles of stock to the rice plus the saffron, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.  Stir and simmer until the stock is absorbed, 5 to 10 minutes.  Continue to add the stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring every few minutes.  Each time, cook until the mixture seems a little dry, then add more stock.  Continue until the rice is cooked through, but still al dente, about 30 minutes total.  Off the heat, add the roasted squash cubes and parmesan.  Mix well and serve.

As I said, this might be the best risotto I've ever cooked (and I've cooked some risotto!).  I'll absolutely be making this again.

Thanks to Rachel of Rachel Likes to Cook for picking this recipe.  I'm not sure I would have made it if not for BB.

Y'all need to make this one!!

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