Does anyone watch MasterChef? With Gordon Ramsay? Well I do, and maybe someday I'll be on it. Not really. I don't normally cook, not because I don't like to, but mostly because I hate the clean up that's involved. On Friday I was checking out Foodnetwork, looking to meal plan. I found a recipe for Saffron Risotto with Butternut Squash from Ina. This recipe had 18 pages of reviews by men and women, they were raving about this dish. I'm a pretty big squash fan so I wrote down the ingredients I would need for it and a bunch of others for other recipes that sounded yum-o.
So on Sunday I'm at the store and I'm standing in the spice section (obviously) of the baking isle looking for saffron. Guess how much a few threads of saffron costs?!?! $21.99!So needless to say I skipped the saffron. Then I remembered when I read the reviews a lot of other people skipped it too and they still said it was an amazing meal.
As soon as I got home from work on Monday I started dinner. First I had to peel and dice the squash.
apparently you can buy this stuff pre-chunked. wish I would have known that, it was kind of a bitch to peel.
while the squash is roasting, chop up the shallots and pancetta.
add the rice and stir until the rice is coated in the butter.
now comes the tedious part of this recipe. I never left the stove. Thirty minutes of constant stirring and ladling. If you don't stir, the rice will burn. So stir.
Take a little nibble, the rice should be al dente. Those of you who aren't MasterChefs like me may not know what that means,
"In cooking, the Italian expression al dente (pronounced /ælˈdɛnteɪ/ in English, [al ˈdɛnte] in Italian) describes pasta and (less commonly) riceor beans that have been cooked so as to be firm but not hard. "Al dente" also describes vegetables that are cooked to the "tender crisp" phase - still offering resistance to the bite, but cooked through. Keeping the pasta firm is especially important in baked or "al forno" pasta dishes, which will be baked. The term "al dente" comes from Italian and means "to the tooth" or "to the bite", referring to the need to chew the pasta due to its firmness."
That's from Wikipedia :)
Anyways after the rice is AL DENTE, take it off the heat and add the squash and about a cup of parmesan cheese. The smell was so good, probably the best smelling meal that I have ever eaten.
It was ah-may-zing. I already want to make it again. Like tonight.
Here is the real recipe. Try it. Even if you don't like butternut squash. My family loved it. Seriously, there were 180 reviews, 179 were raving reviews. That one negative review was written by an idiot who was nota MasterChef like myself (obviously).
Also, last week we found out Mila was born without enamel on all of her molars (common in preemies I guess), so yesterday (Tuesday) she had to get 4 silver crowns put on the back 4 molars. They will be there until she's twelve. That's 8 years of an awesome pirate smile. Oh well, it's a good thing we all like Pirates of the Caribbean.
Kam-Bam made this sign for Mila, and bought her some flowers and a balloon.
Can you believe she wrote that!?!?! That St. Joe's is some school....she just turned 4 btw.
Anyways she did great, she was pretty hysterical for the first hour after appointment but then was fine for the rest of the day.