Thursday, October 9, 2008

Barefoot Bloggers - Risotto

Well fellow Barefoot Bloggers, I owe you all an apology. I really did want to make this by following the recipe exactly as written because a. I love risotto and b. thought the butternut squash version would be fantastic. Things however, don't always work out as they ought.

It has been an absolutely crazy last two weeks for me and in hindsight, I wish I had waited to join BB until November when my commitments would ease off some and I could devote the proper amount of time and energy to the group. Not that I'm trying to make excuses or anything...but in addition, my whole family has been sick over the last week and while I fervently hoped I wouldn't come down with it, by Tuesday afternoon it had gotten to me too (okay, I guess I am making excuses).

Anyway, I did join Barefoot Bloggers, and this being only the second time to post with you all, I figured I needed to do something. I fully intended on making the risotto with butternut squash but I apparently had a total brain freeze when I went to the grocery store this past Tuesday and completely forgot to buy the ingredients for this recipe (I had a copy of it in my purse) - somehow I managed to buy $150 worth of other stuff, but squash, no Arborio rice, no shallots, no pancetta, no saffron, no fancy Parmesan. Sigh.

So, yesterday morning I decided I would make risotto anyway (in some shape or form) and post whatever I ended up with, figuring that making risotto from stuff you've already got in your pantry might provide someone out there in internet-land with the inspiration to try making it. So I had regular white rice, chicken broth, onions, white wine, grated parmesan cheese (yes, in the plastic container...sigh), and canned pumpkin. ::cringe:: Oh, I hope Ina never reads this.....

Before I ruined my batch of risotto with the canned pumpkin, I mixed a small amount on the side and taste-tested first.

In spite of everything, it actually came out alright and the two littlest ones and I had it for lunch. I know how vastly superior this would have tasted had I used the correct ingredients (especially roasted butternut squash and freshly grated Parmesano Reggiano cheese!) and I will try it again soon. The original, perfectly fantastic Ina Garten recipe is on - but here's my mangled version (I only made half of this):

Butternut Squash Pumpkin Risotto

1 butternut squash (2 pounds) 1 15 oz. can pumpkin
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade chicken broth
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
2 ounces pancetta, diced
1/2 cup minced shallots (2 large) minced onion
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (10 ounces) white rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon saffron threads
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan (Kraft parmesan works)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds, and cut it into 3/4-inch cubes. You should have about 6 cups. Place the squash on a sheet pan and toss it with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing once, until very tender. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the chicken stock broth 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 onions on medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until the onions 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 teaspoon salt (if your broth is salty, you might want to omit this, I did), and 1/2 teaspoon 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 canned pumpkin and Parmesan. Mix well and serve.

Check out the Barefoot Bloggers blogroll here to see how this recipe is done right and to see some truly fantastic photos. And I hereby solemnly promise to do better on the next recipe - Vegetable Pot Pie!
Update: My apologies to Rachel of Rachel Likes to Cook for not giving her the credit for selecting this fantastic recipe! I will do it justice someday Rachel, I promise!


Cathy said...

Oh Laura, it sounds like you've had the week from you-know-where! You are amazing for even attempting this with how busy you've been, and with your kiddos being under the weather! You can bet that I'll be begging for a bye as soon as we get the first "illness that rips through family" -- and it's October, it must be coming soon! Your minor modifications (LOL at your recipe write up!) look like they turned out an excellent finished product!

Veronica said...

Good for you for even attempting with your crazy week of sick kids!! I love the idea of pumpkin risotto...looks so pretty in that white bowl.

Anonymous said...

Hey looks good anyway! Kudos for even attempting.

Rebecca of "Ezra Pound Cake" said...

You don't have to make excuses! This is a pretty loosey-goosey group. Don't stress yourself out! ;)

Prudy said...

I think this looks and sounds amazing! I'm mostly amazed that you were able to pull it off with all of your obstacles. If I was your neighbor I would have brought you some butternut squash risotto and sent you to bed!

chocolatechic said...

Way to make it your own.

Anonymous said...

Haha! That's great! Hope you're all feeling better now.

Misty said...

Hey, at least you gave it a shot! So the pumpkin was no good, but the risotto before it was? I call that a success!

Matt said...

Oh, how I know the weeks you must have been having. Fortunately I didn't have any sicknesses to have to have to face. I hope everyone is feeling better.

Despite your departure from the recipe, your risotto looks delicious: creamy, golden, and if it tasted good that is all that matters!

I hope things calm down, but as I can see your floors are being redone. Just visualize how beautiful everything will be when it's all done!