Crimini butternut squash risotto

Tonights dinner is Herb rubbed Sirloin Roast with crimini butternut squash risotto. I’d write about the roast, but you wouldn’t honestly get anything more from me than you can with that link (other than to MORE than halve the salt, and if you don’t like spicy, dial back the cayenne, and its perfectly edible if you’re out of paprika).

The risotto recipe though, I felt wasn’t too terribly good in it’s original form, so I took a bunch of comments and mashed them together to get the recipe you see below. It’s quite tasty and I’ve been eating it as I’ve typed up and edited this post.
I’ll probably try this Butternut squash Fry recipe with the rest of the squash I have left.

Crimini butternut squash risotto
I still suggest reading the comments up at the original recipe, as some people had techniques and ideas that I did not put to use in this version that I’m sure are still tasty/helpful.
I’ll write this as I’d suggest actually doing it, not how allrecipes posts their recipes. This is also how the Joy of Cooking writes most of their recipes, and I find it incredibly practical. I think a lot of people who aren’t used to planning out how to actually do recipes could use to have directions written this way.

Cut off the top portion of a medium-large butternut squash.
Chop it into large cubes and if you’re good with the knife, cut off the peel (otherwise, you’ll have to peel after it’s steamed). You should have in the neighborhood of two cups of cubed squash.
Put the cubes into a steamer in a large pan. Fill the bottom with water. Cover the pan. Steam the squash for 10-15 minutes, until the squash can easily be pierced with a fork.

In the mean time:
Set four three cups of stock on the back burner to warm in a sauce pan.

Mince half a small onion and 3 cloves of garlic.
Melt 2 T butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic, maybe 2-3 min.
While that is cooking, chop up two medium handfuls of crimini mushrooms (I think this is half of what I had in the bag, so this would be 8oz, maybe). I probably had close to 2 cups chopped at the end.

To the sauteing onion and garlic, add 1 cup arborio rice, stirring well to make sure every grain of rice is coated in butter.
Add the mushrooms and stir well.
Cook 5 min or so. Or until you think you smell your rice burning even though it hasn’t been anywhere near 5 min.
Add 1/3 c white wine and stir until it has absorbed.
Add 1 c of your warmed stock to your rice mixture and stir well.
I am not of the opinion that risotto needs to be constantly stirred. Stir often, stir well, but don’t be afraid to walk away for a minute or so, or tend to the rest of your dinner. Or change the CD in the player. Or empty the dish washer.

Your squash will likely finish sometime in here. Pull it out of the pan and set aside in a bowl. When it’s cool enough to get near, mash it with a fork. Sprinkle liberally with cinnamon.

When the first cup of stock is absorbed, add another, and repeat stirring/absorbing.
Stir in the squash. Things will get messy and stickier to deal with.
Stir in the last cup of stock.
If you think you’ll need more to finish cooking your rice, add it. I used four for my first version and it was too much. I probably could have stopped at 3.
When your last cup has absorbed, or you’re just tired and hungry and want to eat, add 1/4 c parmesan cheese. You might want a bit more, taste it and decide. I ended up adding another 2T or so of cheese.

Hints and tidbits:
To my taste buds, this doesn’t need any more salt than is already provided by the stock.
If you want to make it vegetarian, use veggie stock.
Want to make it a full omnivore meal? Add chicken or shrimp.

While it’s all great and wonderful to always have homemade stock on hand, this isn’t always a reality. I usually buy chicken Better than Bouillon for my general stock making needs. Make sure you read the label carefully if you are gluten free. Not all versions of all flavors are gluten free and it can be tricky to make sure you have the right one (we’ve got an evil beef version in the fridge because the Man Beast isn’t quite as good at double checking labels).

Mushrooms: I knew that crimini mushrooms were simply younger portabello mushrooms. What I didn’t know, as that those two and button mushrooms are all the same thing. The youngest version is the button (white) mushroom. As it ages, it gets a bit darker and is called a crimini mushroom. Let it mature further and open up and you have a portabello mushroom. So buy what you feel like buying here. Or what looks good or is on sale. The criminis were a fabulous price at the farmer’s market this weekend, hence why I had them. To me, there is a taste difference between the criminis and buttons mushrooms, but I’m sure either would work fine.


One Response

  1. […] your oven to 400F. 2. Peal and chop the remainder of the butternut squash you have from making crimini butternut sqush risotto. Pealing and chopping a butternut squash is kind of a bitch. Be patient and take your time. 3. Toss […]

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