It was around 6p when I started to contemplate what to make the Brit for dinner tonight. While I try and achieve a lifestyle we can both get used to with this blog (ok so I haven’t come close yet, but I will) the poor man is hustling three jobs. Tomorrow night he begins teaching Anatomy and Physiology again after slaving away all day trying to create antibiotics that we won’t be resistant to, so tonight I wanted to make him a decent meal.
I had already defrosted Boneless Chicken Breasts in an Asian Peanut Marinade from my freezer debacle so I was slightly limited in what to make to accompany them. I was thinking something with rice, possibly a stir fry, but that was too predictable and I am anything but that in the kitchen. A quick survey of available vegetables in the fridge included an acorn squash, Kabocha squash, radicchio, shitake mushrooms, snow pea pods, yellow and orange peppers, beets, broccoli, parsnips…..ok, ok, so I over shop-you never know when you might get snowed in in Colorado!
I honed in on the acorn squash and I was still thinking rice when I began to contemplate risotto. The traditional risotto one would make with squash would probably be savory, maybe a little sage and thyme and some white wine, parmigiana and cream, but that would go with chicken in an Asian Peanut Marinade like the Dixie Chicks playing the Republican National Convention. Plus I was out of white wine.
While making a quick survey of the Liquor Cabinet I spotted a bottle of Coconut Liquor flavored Malibu Rum. Now we were talkin. The little wheels in my head began to spin and I started thinking…..Ginger, yes! I had fresh ginger! My beloved Garam Masala! Certainly that would belong in my risotto. And shallots. What about shitakes? Oh yes, they would impart their lovely earthy flavor. And let’s not forget those beautiful orange peppers, their sweetness would absolutely add to this dish. I went to work and here’s how it came together.
|Island Risotto with Acorn Squash, Shitakes, Ginger & Malibu Rum!|
- 3 Shallots, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 inch piece of Ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 Acorn Squash, peeled, seeded and cut into bite sized pieces
- 1/2 Orange Bell Pepper, cored, seeded and chopped into bite sized pieces
- 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
- 1 tsp Garam Masala
- 3 Shitake Mushrooms, halved and cut into slices
- 1 cup Organic Harvest Medley Rice-a blend of CalMati Brown Rice, Wild Rice, Sweet Brown Rice, Heirloom Red Rice
- 3/4 cup Malibu Coconut Liquor flavored Rum
- 2 1/2 cups Chicken Broth-May use Vegetable Broth to make it Vegetarian
- 2 Tbsp Honey Flavored Greek Yogurt
- 1 Tbsp freshly chopped Cilantro
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add shallots, ginger and Garam Masala and stir for 1 minute.
- Add acorn squash, pepper and mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the rice and about 1/4 cup of the Malibu and stir constantly until it evaporates.
- Add about one cup of the chicken broth, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly until it evaporates.
- Add the remainder of the Malibu, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until it too evaporates.
- Keep adding the chicken broth, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring, stirring, stirring and incorporating it into what now appears to be a thick creamy substance holding the rice and vegetables together.
- All together this will take about 50 minutes, so pour yourself a nice glass of wine, crank the tunes and stir. I promise this dish will be worth it.
- When the risotto is done-you’ll know this because the rice will no longer be crunchy, stir in the yogurt to finish and cook for just a few minutes more to incorporate.
- Garnish with freshly chopped Cilantro.
This could also be a vegetarian entree for 2 if made with vegetable broth in lieu of chicken. It could be Vegan if you omit the yogurt.
Put on a Bob Marley CD, a sarong and sit down and eat mon!