Friday, November 27, 2009

Artichoke Mushroom Risotto

Artichoke Heart and Mushroom Risotto

Makes 4 main-course servings.

4 cups chicken broth (40 fl ounces)
1 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
3/4 pound fresh mushrooms (choose what works for your budget, porcini are great) stems discarded and caps cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
2 large fresh artichoke hearts, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices, prepared or

1 15 oz can Artichoke Hearts
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (10 ounces)
1/2 cup dry white wine (a good Spanish white)
2 ounces finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 cup, though I used half)

Put broth and water in a sauce pan and heat up until warm, then turn to low. Mark sure it is always heated.

Heat oil with 1 tablespoon butter in a 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then saute mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer to a bowl.

Cook onion in 2 tablespoons butter in saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine and cook, stirring, until absorbed, about 1 minute.

Ladle in 1 cup simmering broth and cook at a strong simmer, stirring, until absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue simmering and adding broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently and letting each addition be absorbed before adding next, until rice is just tender and looks creamy, 22 to 24 minutes. (Save leftover broth for thinning.)

Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Gently stir in artichokes and mushrooms, then cover pan and let stand 1 minute. If desired, thin risotto with some of remaining broth. Serve immediately with remaining cheese on the side.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Acorn Squash Puree

I've had a bunch of acorn squash in my car leftover from a photo shoot a few weeks ago. I looked at tons of recipes but nothing that jumped out at me. It's definitely one of those winter vegetables that gets overlooked. In the end I came up with this easy recipe, just a bit time consuming. But it's something to do while I watch the Bronco game. You can also substitute Butternut Squash.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

2 acorn squash cut in half, seeded
1 tbsp unsalted butter
salt and pepper

Put the squash cut side down in a baking sheet. Fill the baking sheet with water just a 1/2 inch above the the squash. Bake for 45 minutes. Let sit for about 20 minutes to cool. Peal the squash and put into a food processor. Add the butter, salt and pepper and process until smooth. Taste test for additional seasoning.

This can be used as a sauce, eaten as is or used for soup.

Serves 4 as an appetizer.