The special ingredient for today is Winter Squash. I had several winter squashes sitting around my kitchen, and I decided to try to create something from ingredients that I already had in my kitchen. I settled on making a Winter Squash Risotto. I began by roasting the squash for extra sweetness and flavor. Then I made a basic risotto, added the mashed winter squash along with some French triple creme cheese. It was a very delicious meal, and one that will surely remind you that you're in the winter season.
The complimentary ingredients I used this week were SAGE, stock,olive oil,leeks, and cheese.
WINTER SQUASH RISOTTO About 8 servings
winter squash of your choice (I used 3 different varieties-Delicata, Butternut, and Acorn (About 2 cups when roasted)
1 leek, cut in half and thinly sliced
10 cremini mushrooms, cut in half and sliced
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups Arborio rice
3 14 oz. cans chicken broth
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
2 ounces French triple creme cheese (or brie, gorgonzola, or blue)
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut squash in half, scrape out seeds, season inside with salt and pepper, and place cut side down on an oiled bakig sheet. Cook until tender, 30 minutes to 1 hour. Can be made in advance.
2. Bring broth to simmer in a saucepan. Turn to low and keep warm.
3. Place 2 teaspoons olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until both are softened. Add rice and stir for 1 minute. Add the wine and stir until evaporated. Add 1 1/2 cups hot broth and simmer, stirring frequently, until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding 1/2 cup broth at a time, allowing broth to evaporate before adding any more. Remember to stir frequently. When rice is tender (but not too soft), add the sage, squash, and cheese. Stir to combine and taste for seasons. Serve on warmed plates or bowls.