Thursday, October 9, 2008

Butternut squash risotto

The butternut squash recipe challenge this week was chosen by Rachel of Rachel Likes to Cook.

Whoa - suffering puppies and sugar cane, this squash was a challenge to peel and cut up! Gave my arm and hand quite the workout. I think I can skip my yoga this week. Maybe this month. It looked pretty in the pan however.
The risotto took longer to cook than I had anticipated and seemed to cook out the liquid pretty quickly. Of course I always try to cheat at things (not in life, just in cooking) and I wondered why I could not put more than two ladles of chicken broth in there at once. Any thoughts on that? I followed the recipe and was a good girl, however. As you can see in the photo below, I managed to use almost all my wonderful chicken stock. I used chardonnay which was the driest wine in my cabinet. Being a Reisling fan, dry whites are never - shall we say - in over-abundance in my wine bar. Also, I did not have the saffron threads so I substituted a tiny bit of ginger which I thought worked just great. The butcher where I shop could not for the life of him figure out how much two ounces of pancetta would be. I hope his significant other balances the family checkbook. I finally went through the math with him step by step (ok 16 oz is a pound, half of that is 8 oz, half of that is 4 oz, etc.) and then when he still didn't seem to have it, I just said to give me 1/4 lb. That worked for him. I think he was still counting and scratching his head when I left him. I put all of it in there because I like the taste of the pancetta. The shallots were flavorful and the freshly grated parmesan was a nice finishing touch. The recipe made a huge bowl full and I am not sure what hubs and I will do with all of it. I may have to share some with a neighbor. It was delicious and a very nice dish to go with the fall weather that is coming our way! My photos do not do justice to this dish. I was thinking. . . yes I live dangerously. . . wouldn't black olives make it look really Halloweenish!

16 comments:

Andrea said...

Yours look delicious, the ginger sounds like it was a great addition. Too funny about the butcher! Halloween risotto...hmmm, intersting idea, it might work! I'm a big black olive fan though, maybe add some feta in there? I love playing around with recipes too :)

Prudy said...

Ginger sounds lovely, lovely! Yes-the black olives would make an elegant Halloween first course. The one ladle at a time is to keep the rice extra creamy-a sort of saute that forces the rice that to soak up additional liquid, instead of boiling in the liquid-in which case the rice can only take in a smaller amount of liquid. For example, the recipe calls for 6 and 1/2 cups liquid for 1 and 1/2 cups rice. If you were boiling it, you can only get in less than half of that liquid. Still-two ladles at a time would probably still do the trick.

Candy said...

Ginger is a nice addition. I did splurge for the saffron though and it was delicious. Mine too longer too.

Veronica said...

Nice pancetta math! I'll bet the addition of ginger was delcious.

Cathy said...

Peggy, you go be crazy and throw some black olives in there next time! It will be SPOOOOOOKY (and taste great, I think!) Yours looks wonderful -- we adored this! If you're trying to unload the rest of yours, feel free to bring some to me.

Natashya said...

I think ginger is a great idea. I also like the black olives idea, great Halloween fun.
I am glad you liked it - tell hubby to hurry up and stock the wine bar!

Megan said...

Risotto is hard to photograph in my ever so humble opinion. Black olives are a great idea. I once made a couscous with pineapple, red peppers, and raisins and it looked really halloweenish.
funny about the butcher. LOL

chocolatechic said...

The butcher couldn't figure out 2 oz.???

I am incredulous!

bakingwiththeboys said...

I love that you are already thinking of Halloween. Ginger is genius.

Emily said...

Your risotto looks great also! Regarding the countertops I love both colors but I like the lighter ones better keeps things brighter in the house. I had black granite counter tops once and it seems to dark, so I'd go with the lighter ones. Happy cooking!

Aggie said...

Your risotto looks great! I'm laughing about the butcher...I've gone through that with the guy at the fish counter before! lol...

Thanks for visiting my blog! I'm going to have a look around yours!

Heather B said...

Great job! It looks delicious!

Debinhawaii said...

I think the ginger would be great in it too. I ended up with a packaged pancetta and put the whole thing in as well. It was my favorite part!

Suzie said...

What a lucky neighbour. I agree this was a great dish!

1freshstart said...

Haha! I love butchers.
~Cat

Anne said...

So funny about the butcher! I totally agree about the Halloween appeal- that would be so fun!