The Daring Kitchen: risotto
The 2010 March Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Eleanor of MelbournefoodGeek and Jess of Jessthebaker. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make risotto. The various components of their challenge recipe are based on input from the Australian Masterchef cookbook and the cookbook Moorish by Greg Malouf.
Risotto has a bad rap. All that simmering and stirring and love and care that need to go into it can be quite intimidating. And I’ll admit I have screwed it all up previously. The first time I made risotto was in my crazed push to make lots of things to eat after having my wisdom teeth out. (Risotto works great for this because it’s easy to chew and still tastes great after sitting in your fridge for days…) Unfortunately, this particular time I toasted the rice a little too long. And by “a little” I mean, I toasted it for a solid 10 minutes before I realized I should add some liquid. Word to the wise: this is too long of a toasting period for rice. I now toast my risotto rice for 30 seconds to a minute. Should you make the same mistake, give up. Throw your rice away. Do not try to salvage. Start over. Just sayin’
With that said, I have actually discovered that risotto is actually pretty easy to make. It’s one of those great meals that once you can mindlessly make when you know what you’re doing. Which was great for nights like this one with lots of work to do. Don’t believe me? Then let’s just pull back a touch from that photo, shall we?
It was indeed a fun night of squash risotto, asparagus, serrano ham, and 3 big homework assignment due the next day, complete with a mega eraser. My life is no longer complete without one!
Being the rebel that I am, though, I used butternut squash even though the recipe specifically said not to. Butternut squash was just sitting there on my counter looking all happy-like, so I obviously needed to use it. I just pulled back a little with my liquid addition to balance everything out (ie I didn’t really measure, I just went by feel).
Thanks, everyone–especially Eleanor and Jess–for another great DC challenge!