Posts Tagged 'white wine'

Butternut Squash Risotto

Butternut Squash Risotto

With Halloween this week, I thought my Meatless Monday recipe should be pumpkin-inspired!

Pumpkins and winter squashes like the butternut and acorn varieties are both of the gourd family and can be used interchangeably in most cases.  I love the flavor of the sweet “meat” of Butternut squash.  It’s my favorite of the winter squashes. I use it in soups, salads and dishes like this one.

Risotto sounds complicated, but it is actually very easy to make. All it takes is a little patience to wait for the rice to absorb the liquid.

This is the basic recipe for making risotto. Once you have mastered this simple recipe, you can make any flavor combination you are craving.

Enjoy!

Butternut Squash Risotto

1 medium butternut squash (about 1 pound)
5 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion (half a small onion)
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Peel, halve, and remove the seeds from the squash. Cut it into 1/2-inch pieces. In a medium saucepan place the squash and enough water to cover by 1-inch. Over high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until fork-tender, but not too soft, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a medium saucepot over high heat, bring the stock to a boil. Reduce the heat to low.

In a large saucepot over medium heat, melt the butter and oil. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon, making sure all the grains are coated. Cook until translucent, about 1 minute. Add the white wine and simmer uncovered until the liquid has almost evaporated, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the simmering stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently. Wait until each addition is almost completely absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup of the stock. The risotto is done when the rice is tender, but still firm.

Stir in the cooked squash and the Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the squash is reheated and the cheese is melted, about 2 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Recipe from Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler.

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Spaghetti Vongole

This is my husband’s favorite dish.  Not only is it delicious, but it brings memories we both love to savor.

Paul spent a semester in college studying in Venice. It was a time I think he will cherish forever. When we were dating, we decided to take a trip to Europe to show each other our “homes” abroad … for me, Paris and for Paul, Venice. It was in Venice, that Paul got down on one knee and made me the happiest girl in the world. That evening, I enjoyed my first true Spaghetti Vongole with a bottle of Pinot Grigio as we celebrated our engagement.

This is the dish I will making for my Valentine this year.  It is full of love, flavor and … as an added bonus is surprisingly simple to make.

Enjoy!

 

Spaghetti Vongole

2 pounds small clams, scrubbed clean
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup dry white wine
1 pound linguine, cooked as per package directions, drained, and kept warm
1/4 cup minced flat leaf parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Sort through your cleaned clams to make sure all are tightly closed. If any aren’t closed, that means they are dead so throw them away.

In a large pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the pan.  Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and the tomatoes.  Stir and cook until the garlic turns fragrant; be careful to not let it brown. Add the white wine and stir to combine. Add the clams, stir gently, and close the lid. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the mussels open.

Add the drained pasta to the pot along with the parsley. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Cooking Tips:

When buying fresh clams, do not seal the plastic bag. The clams are still alive and need to breathe. I immediately transfer them to a colander to store in my refrigerator until ready to use.

To prepare the clams, first discard any with broken shells or that are open. Rinse under cold water to remove any dirt.

Any clams that do not open during cooking, should be discarded and not eaten.

Wild Mushroom, Rosemary, and Hazelnut Dressing

I am a huge fan of dressing … any time of year.  To me, a good dressing is one of the ultimate comfort foods.

This dressing gets a modern … and flavorful … spin with the use of a crusty artisan rosemary bread as the base. It is delicious with turkey but also pairs nicely with red meat.

If serving this at the holidays or for a dinner party, take advantage of the many steps that can be done in advance. You can toast the bread a day or two ahead and store the cooled croutons in a resealable plastic bag. The hazelnuts can be toasted several days ahead as well. The mushrooms and onions can be cleaned and cut the day ahead and stored separately in the fridge. Then the day you plan to serve the dish, all you have to do is assemble the ingredients and pop your casserole dish into the oven.

Enjoy!

Wild Mushroom, Rosemary, and Hazelnut Dressing

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra to grease the baking dish
1 1-pound loaf rosemary bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 8 cups)
8 ounces button mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
3/4 pound fresh shitake mushrooms, stemmed and quartered (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion (1 small onion)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups hazelnuts, toasted, skins removed, and coarsely chopped
2 cups chicken stock
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9- x 13-inch baking dish with butter and set aside.

Place the bread on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the middle of the oven until the bread is toasted dry and lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the button mushrooms, shitake mushrooms, and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and rosemary and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the white wine and over high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape the brown bits on the bottom of the pan, until the liquid is almost evaporated, about 4 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add the bread and hazelnuts, and toss to combine.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the stock and eggs. Add to the bread mixture and toss to evenly coat.

Transfer the dressing to the prepared baking dish. Bake, loosely covered with foil, until set and warmed through, about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the top is browned, about 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Serves 6 to 8.

From: Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler

 

Lemon Salmon

If you have ever been nervous about cooking fish, this is the recipe to help you overcome your fear.

Despite popular belief, cooking fish is probably one of the easiest kitchen skills.  When armed with a few basic facts, you will be cooking fish like a pro.

Smell it!

When buying fish, ask to smell it.  The fish should smell more like the ocean than dead fish. If it smells overly fishy, that means it is past its prime and will taste overly fishy too.

Don’t overcook it!

Fish should be treated like red meat.  It is best served at medium-temperature. Overcooking will give your fish a strong fishy taste and odor.

I like to remove my fish from the heat (whether oven, stove-top, or grill) just before I think it’s done and let it finishing cooking in the hot pan.

Marinate it!

Marinating fish will add moisture and flavor. However, keep in mind that fishes are delicate.  Fish should never be marinated no longer than 1 hour.

In this recipe, baking the salmon in the marinade helps the fish stay tender and moist.

Ready, Set, Fish!

Enjoy!

Lemon Salmon

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons dry white wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced into rounds
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
4 boneless salmon filets (4 to 6 ounces each)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a shallow non-reactive baking dish whisk together the lemon juice, white wine, and oil. Scatter the shallots, lemon slices, and thyme sprigs evenly across the bottom of the pan. Place the salmon filets, flesh side down, into the pan. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes but no longer than 1 hour.

Pre-heat the oven to 385 degrees.

Remove the pan from the fridge, and let it stand until the fish is to room temperature, about 10 minutes on your kitchen counter. Turn the fish over, so the flesh side is up and the skin side is down, and place it back in the marinade. Generously season the fish with salt and pepper. Bake the fish in the marinade for 30 minutes, or until cooked to desired temperature.  Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Cooking Tips:

This lemony marinade is also delicious with other types of light and flaky fish (such as tilapia, orange roughy, and halibut) as well as shellfish (scallops and shrimp). The cooking times may vary slightly depending on thickness.

When marinating anything in an acid such as lemon juice, wine, or vinegar be sure to use a non-reactive container. Cookware made from glass, ceramic, plastic, or stainless steel are all non-reactive and safe to use. (Plastic storage bags are also a great, mess-free option.) Avoid cookware made from aluminum or copper when marinating because those metals will react with the marinade and give your food a metallic taste.


Jennifer Chandler

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