Wednesday, October 28, 2009
A risotto to celebrate fall
Although Tallinn is not the best place on earth to enjoy the benefits of fall (it's horridly windy hear nearly every day), we do get the lovely moments where the world seems to have turned into one, big, soft, golden tunnel of leaves. Leaves still on trees and leaves already on the ground. And the freshly hatched, glistening chestnuts. Now what's better to celebrate a day like that than a lovely pumpkin risotto. We had some friends over and I made one based on Gordon Ramsay's recipe from "A Chef for all Seasons".
Butternut squash and smoked ham risotto (muskaatkõrvitsa ja toorsuitsu singi risotto):
1 butternut squash
200 g risotto rice
600 ml chicken tock
100 ml white wine
a good glug of olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
50 g of smoked ham (the kind that's been smoked while still raw and that has no fat on it).
2 tbsps of creamed cheese (I used Philadelphia, I like the sourness and the fact that it's not 80% fat, as the mascarapone that Ramsay uses)
a knob of Parmesan, grated
freshly ground black pepper
Put the chicken stock on the stove and make sure that it's hot or even slightly simmering (but not boiling with big bubbles).
Peel and dice the pumpkin so you're left with small cubes.
In a large saucepan heat the olive oil and gently fry the onions and the pumpkin cubes for about 5 minutes.
Add the risotto rice and toast for about 2 minutes and stir to make sure that all the grains are coated with oil.
Pour in the wine and cook until reduced.
Now put in about 2-3 ladlefuls of the hot chicken stock. Make sure the heat under the rice is medium-low and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has been absorbed.
Stir in another 2-3 ladlefuls of stock (you should run out of your stock in about 3-4 go's).
Keep cooking, stirring and adding the stock until all is gone and the risotto grains are just tender.
Cut the ham into thin strips.
Stir in the ham, the creamed cheese and 1/2 of the grated Parmesan. Season with black pepper. You probably won't need salt.
Let it heat through and serve with the extra Parmesan sprinkled on top.