Sunday, December 19, 2010
Butternut squash risotto IN A CROCKPOT!
ike any good carb-lover, I adore risotto. Especially risotto done right. You know, all the stirring, the broth exactly the right warmth to add into the rice. The toasting of the rice first, then the wine or sherry, and all the steps so laborious and time consuming.
It doesn't have to be that way. Maybe I'm a little slow to the risotto revolution, but when I needed to make risotto last week and my stove was still out of commission, I thought, why not figure out a way in the crockpot? And sure enough, the interwebs cooperated with a plethora of recipes.
I settled on the one below, and it went off without a hitch. Wanting to kick it up a notch, of course, I added butternut squash and then made a bunch of little risotto cakes (see further below) for the work event last week. This is definitely going to be my go-to risotto method in the future, many apologies to all you purists out there.
1 1/4 cup uncooked Arborio rice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
3 3/4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 t dried onion flakes
5 cloves chopped garlic
1 t kosher salt
1/4 t black pepper
2/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese (to add at the very end)
Toss the uncooked Arborio rice with the olive oil in your crockpot stoneware, add the seasonings and garlic. Pour in the broth and white wine; stir to mix flavors.
Cover and cook on high for 2 hours, or until the rice is tender. (Mine took longer, but I was doubling... well, tripling the recipe...) (P.S. I couldn't resist stirring it once or twice. I know, old habits... but it didn't seem to hurt it...)
Stir in the shredded cheese and leave uncovered for about 15 minutes to let a bit of the moisture escape
The final product will be very creamy and have a porridge-like consistency.
To make butternut squash version:
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
Roast butternut squash cubes until the cubes are quite soft. Put roasted squash in a large mixing bowl and mash with a potato masher until roughly mashed. Add the risotto and stir until well mixed.
To make risotto cakes:
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup parmesan cheese shreds
Prehead oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
Make sure the risotto is completely cold. (You can make the risotto ahead by a couple of days if needed.) Test the consistency. If the mixture is too soft, even after cooling, it will make rather flat cakes (trust me, I know). If soft, add some plain bread crumbs to the mixture to thicken it up.
Mix bread crumbs and parmesan cheese shreds together in a food processor until well blended. Put in a medium bowl and set aside.
Make balls from the risotto (about a large teaspoon full) and roll them in the crumb/cheese mixture; place on the baking sheet and flatten slightly with your hand. Continue with the rest of the mixture or until you have made enough risotto cakes. Because the cakes shouldn't spread too much, I usually can fit 24 on a large baking sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Serve warm or at room temperature.