Thursday, October 18, 2012
Butternut Squash and Apple Risotto
The butter had been melted. The shallot had been added, and was wonderfully soft. The rosemary and sage gave off their woodsy scents. Garlic was emitting its pungent fragrance. It was time to add the rice. So I measured out the rice and stirred it into the onion and butter mixture, letting the rice get all toasty in a quick herbal butter bath before adding the white wine.
Then I noticed something strange. I had poured in long-grain brown rice? How did this even get into the cupboard, let alone get into my pan? I must have purchased it up by mistake. Do not make the same mistake I did. I gave it a chance, trying to cook it for a bit, praying that somehow a risotto would force its way out of this mixture. A risotto did not emerge. I guess it could have, if I had given it about a year to cook. So yeah, do not mistakenly grab long-grain brown rice at the grocery store than grab it from your cupboard to make risotto.
I had to restart the whole thing, of course.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large shallot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 sprig rosemary, needles removed and chopped
1 tablespoon chopped sage leaves, plus more for garnish
1 1/2 cups Arborio or medium-grain rice
smoked sea salt, to taste
ground white pepper, to taste
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups butternut squash puree
2 Granny Smith apples, cored
1/2 cup toasted pinenuts, for garnish
Note: I roasted a whole butternut squash in a 425 degree oven for about 90 minutes to 2 hours, then scooped out the seeds and stringy parts and ran the flesh through a food processor.
To toast the pinenuts, I place in a dry skillet over medium high heat and toss until they have developed a golden brown color (about 4 minutes).
In a medium pot over medium heat, keep the chicken broth warm. Melt butter in a large saute pan. Add the shallot, rosemary, and sage. Once the onion has softened (about 4 minutes), add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, til fragrant. Add the rice. Stir the rice and let the butter coat the rice. Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper. Pour in the white wine and stir the rice. Once the rice has absorbed the wine, add in a ladleful (about 2/3 cup) of chicken stock. Stir and let the rice absorb the stock. Once it has absorbed it, add the next ladleful, and keep repeating. Be sure to stir frequently. Once the rice has cooked, stir in butternut squash puree. Grate the apples into the risotto and stir. Top with toasted pinenuts.