Friday, September 24, 2010

Risotto with Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon

Scott is on the shore today with his "hiking group". He really looks forward to these two days. They hike long and hard, and are trying to chip off the entire Superior Hiking Trail....two days a year. (: My dream would be to spend a week hiking to the oven and back with new food experiments in tow! Maybe I should organize an "eating group". Shouldn't be too tough to find...

With an entire weekend at home by myself, I decided to play with the woodburning oven in our backyard. For some reason, it is harder to make the commitment to use this one....other projects always get in the way. I saw this recipe on a blog yesterday, and remembered making a risotto dish in our oven class last fall. This was the day to try it!

Risotto with Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon
adapted from The Art of Woodfired Kitchen and Guilty

1/2 butternut squash, peeled
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 lb smoked bacon, thick sliced...cooked
1 pkg portabello mushrooms
3 T olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic
2 cups Arborio rice
6 cups chicken stock, heated
2 T unsalted butter
1/2 cup vermouth or dry white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Dice squash into 1" cubes and place in sheet pan with fresh thyme. Drizzle with 1-2 T olive oil. With oven at "roasting temperature" (hearth approximately 550 degrees), roast squash about 6-8 not fully cook at this point. It will complete cooking in the risotto.

Set heavy pan in the foreground of the oven with chopped onions and olive oil. Saute until softened....add garlic and roast a minute or two more. This can burn quickly so stay close.

Add mushrooms and saute until tender.

At this point, I transfered the onion, garlic and mushrooms to my bean pot because my saute pan was not big enough, but if you have a large one you can continue with that. Add rice, stir to coat with the oil, and cook about 3 minutes until lightly toasted and well heated.

Add hot stock to just cover the rice (about one cup). Stir, and then let sit in oven without stirring until liquid has been absorbed (about 5 minutes).

Repeat, allowing each addition of stock to absorb before adding the next.

After 15-20 minutes, add the squash mixture and wine and cook another 5 minutes or until rice is al dente.

Remove from oven and stir vigorously to increase creaminess. Stir in bacon, butter and cheese.

Garnish with truffle oil if you have some....more parmesan cheese of course...and freshly ground pepper!

Pretty good stuff! To keep the chicken stock hot, I would put it in a sauce pan and keep it at the front of the oven...

This was really fun and simple to make! It was such a gorgeous fall day here....and such a treat to be cooking outside. The hardest part for me.... splitting that wood! I found out later that two neighbors were chuckling as they watched me.... aim, focus, miss... I do appreciate that Bob always has perfectly split wood for our immediate use at the cabin oven. Thanks Bob!!

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