Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Risotto, Zen cooking, Just stir the rice

I've been wanting to make Butternut Squash Risotto for a while now, but just haven't been able to do it.  Due to laziness.  You know, all the stirring and such.
Last night I felt it was time.
The Butternut Squash was sitting on the counter, begging to be eaten opposed to thrown out and there was really no excuse.
So onward bound I went.

There are many recipes for this but I just followed the recipe on the Arborio rice....then spruced it up.

1 butternut squash
chopped onion
minced garlic
1 stick of butter
1 container veggie broth
1 Cup  Arborio rice
Parmeson Cheese
Dry white wine (optional)
***I used Vermouth***
you can add herbs

Peel the squash. I only used half the squash and I'm going to tell you right now this made enough for at least 6 people so cut it in half...everything in half from the recipe on the box.
chop the peeled squash into small cubes.  I like mine a bit bigger because they do break down. Saute the onion until translucent in the 3 T butter and a bit of oil.  Once translucent add chopped squash to pan and saute for about 5 minutes, then add garlic, 3/4 c. vermouth  and rice.  Stir and cook until rice starts to turn clear with a bright white to it. (you will see as you do it.  It's not a science, you just want the rice to cook a wee bit...maybe 3-4 minutes?
Now for the fun part.
Make sure you have some music on or...I like to listen to This American Life with Ira Glass...
Pour one ladle of broth into the pan and slowly stir on low heat.
the first few ladles the broth will suck into the rice quickly.
stir with love.
Find your Zen...just stir the rice...if your are stirring, just stir.
each time the broth is absorbed add another ladle
and stir Zen-ly :)
you do this for about 30 minutes.
the squash will cook as the rice does and turn everything this fabulous orange color.
taste the rice after 20+ minutes .
you want it to be cooked but have a bite to it....al dente.
when this happens
add 3/4 cup or whatever you feel of Parmesan cheese to the pan.
1 more T butter.
remove from heat and stir a bit more.
I covered mine and let it sit while I chopped the green onions.
I suggest, if you have more time, or an extra pan while stirring...fry the green onions in a little bit of oil..it gives the smooth creamy risotto a crunch on the top...
plate it and sprinkle on the onions.  
As I was saying, you really don't even need to measure....
just saute, throw in rice add broth, STIR until done.
I'm sure some of you cooking snots will tell me I've done it wrong...
I've ruined the rice...
wrong wrong wrong...
but to me this was as easy as pie (not that pie is easy)
and it helped my inner Zen:

"if you are going to stir the rice, just stir the rice"


Beth said...

I love making risotto. Leek and mushroom is my current favorite. I've read that constant stirring is not required as long as you stir often enough not to let it burn and it works for me.

Cooksandlay @ Your Smart Kitchen said...

You must really be smart girls. It requires a lot of patience and interest to make a fabulous risotto such as yours. You're awesome!