Saturday, November 24, 2012

Butternut Squash and Shrimp Risotto


Lately, I've been enjoying the bounty of Fall vegetables.  Soups and pastas made with pumpkin or butternut squash and herbs or spices like sage and nutmeg are finding their way into my kitchen.  One of hubby's favorite meals is ANYTHING rice based.  I could boil some rice and cover it with almost anything and he'd like it.  Risotto is one of those items on a menu he would gravitate to especially if it was seafood risotto.

Risotto needs your undivided attention with all the stirring involved, but it's worth the trouble and actually very easy to make.  The trick is to have all your ingredients ready at your fingertips.  Or at least enlist a "master stirrer" to help out.

Ingredients:

4-5 cups of chicken broth

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/4 of a large yellow onion, chopped

2 bella mushrooms (not the large portabella ones), thinly sliced

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

2 sage leaves, minced

1/4 cup white wine

1 cup butternut squash, cooked and mashed

1 cup arborio rice

dash of nutmeg

about 10 cleaned and deveined shrimp sliced in half lengthwise

handful of chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

First of all don't let the big list of ingredients scare you.  Risotto is simple to make.  In a 3 qt saucepan have your broth heated on low.  You'll be ladling this as the liquid evaporates.

In a large soup pot cook the onions, mushrooms, garlic and sage in the olive oil on medium heat.  Add the wine and start to stir.  This will quickly cook down.  Now add the squash and the rice and 1 ladle of broth stirring as you go.  The heat can be turned down to low/medium.

As the liquid is absorbed keep adding a ladle at a time of the broth.  When you are to your last ladle of broth, add the shrimp and nutmeg, while you remain stirring.  The shrimp will cook in no time.  Right at the end rice should be tender and creamy as you add the cheese, parsley and salt and pepper.



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