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      Hi and welcome to one of our favorite sections on the site- food & wine pairings. Beginning October 2020, you will find a food & wine pairing for each month going forward (we'll try to go back and the rest of year). Please feel to send us pictures once you have prepared as well as any comments and if you have your own food & wine pairing to share, send it over. Just be sure to include the full recipe so everyone can enjoy it! Happy cooking and sipping!!

       

      October

      Butternut Squash and Parmesan Risotto

      Pairs with: Chardonnay 

      Ingredients

      Butternut Squash Purée:

      • 1 small butternut squash
      • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
      • 1 cup heavy cream
      • ½ teaspoon fresh nutmeg, grated

      Risotto:

      • 2 cups Arborio rice
      • ½ yellow onion, diced
      • 1 cup white wine
      • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock, heated
      • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
      • ¼ cup cold butter, diced
      • 3-4 tablespoons chives, chopped
      • 3 tablespoons olive oil
      • Salt, white pepper, and nutmeg to taste

      Directions

      1. This is an easy, seasonal dish that can be prepared quickly and explained in two steps. Step one is to make the butternut squash purée that will be added to the risotto later. Remove the outer skin from the squash, slice open, and remove the seeds. Discard the skin and seeds. Cut the squash into small pieces and place in a saucepan with 2 cups of stock and 1 cup of cream. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook until the squash is very tender. Remove the squash, reserving the liquid, then add to a blender or food processer and purée on high, adding back just enough of the cooking liquid so the squash purées smoothly. Season to taste with salt, white pepper and nutmeg. NOTE: you can also use the pre-cut butternut squash that is available these days to cut down on time and arm strength!
      2. A note about stirring: This method for making risotto allows the rice to sit, without much stirring, as the following instructions describe. You may, of course, stir through each of the following steps if you prefer.
      3. Step two starts with a medium size saucepan on medium heat with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the rice to the warm pan and stir slowly until the rice becomes slightly translucent. Stir in the diced onion and allow it to become slightly translucent as well, then add the white wine and allow it to reduce by half. Slowly add hot chicken stock to the pan until the risotto is covered and allow the rice to come to a simmer. Continue adding the chicken stock just enough at a time to keep the rice covered. When the rice becomes al dente, stop adding the stock and allow the remaining liquid to reduce by half. While stirring, add the cheese and allow to fully incorporate into the rice, then add the squash purée and, finally, the butter. Season with salt, white pepper, nutmeg and chives.