Sunday, November 7, 2010

Squash Mushroom Risotto

"I'm late, I'm late", as the white rabbit cried. I have to catch up on some recent recipe experiments, and since we're deep into fall, I'll start with some warming comfort food.

This is another story of leftovers. I had a container of squash, some homemade chicken stock that got defrosted by mistake, and some mushrooms that had seen better days and needed to be used up NOW. I've seen recipes for both squash risotto and mushroom risotto, so that was my inspiration. Risotto is such an adaptable base for all kinds leftover variations. I can imagine it for leftover pumpkin from Halloween (maybe reduce the stock, since pumpkin has a higher moisture content than squash, and use fresh sage as a flavouring).

These days I don't actually follow a recipe for risotto, just a technique, but I provide some standard measurements in this 'recipe'. I'm afraid the measurements are approximate.

Squash Mushroom Risotto

3 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion
3/4 cup risotto rice
1/4 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups squash
1/2 tablespoon butter
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 1/2 cups cooked squash
1/2 cup grated sharp cheese (I used aged Gouda)
salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat the chicken stock and keep it simmering as you cook the risotto.
  2. Cut the onion in half lengthwise, and chop one half finely and the other half in thin half rings.
  3. In a cast iron or non-stick skillet, heat the butter, add the rosemary spring, then the mushrooms.
  4. Fry the mushrooms until they start releasing their moisture, then add the onion half rings. Continue to fry until the mushrooms and onions begin to brown. Then set aside.
  5. In a heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil and sauté the chopped onions until glassy.
  6. Add the rice, stir and cook for a minute.
  7. Add the wine, stirring constantly.
  8. When it is absorbed, add a ladle of stock, and continue to stir as it is absorbed.
  9. Repeat until the rice is almost soft, with just a little bite at the core. It will probably take about 20 minutes and use all the stock to get to this point.
  10. Add the cooked squash to the rice, mix thoroughly  and heat through.
  11. Fold in the grated cheese until it melts.
  12. Remove the rosemary spring from the mushrooms and onions.
  13. Serve the risotto topped by the mushrooms and onions.

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