Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Slow-Cooker Squash Stew

Food Network Magazine

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups dried chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into large pieces
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, leaves and stems separated and roughly chopped
  • 1 piece Parmesan cheese rind, plus grated Parmesan for topping (optional)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Crusty bread and/or lemon wedges, for serving

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and red pepper flakes and cook 1 minute. Stir in 1/2 cup water, scraping up any browned bits. Transfer the contents of the skillet to a 6-quart slow cooker.

  2. Add the chickpeas, squash, chard stems (not the leaves), the parmesan rind, if using, 2 teaspoons salt and 7 cups water to the slow cooker. Stir, then cover and cook on low, 8 hours.

  3. Just before serving, lift the lid and stir in the chard leaves; cover and continue cooking 10 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and stir to slightly break up the squash. Discard the Parmesan rind, if used. Ladle the stew into bowls; top with the grated Parmesan, if desired, and serve with bread and/or lemon wedges.

Nutrtional Information:
Per serving (1/4 of recipe): Calories 428; Fat 15 g (Saturated 2 g); Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 1,250 mg; Carbohydrate 63 g; Fiber 17 g; Protein 18g

Notes: Get the Parmesan cheese rind! I found one for only $1 at my food co-op. This was a fairly easy recipe, and I felt healthier after eating it, even though I piled on the Parmesan. :) I loved the texture of the dried chickpeas.

Liz's Rating: 9/10
Tim's Rating: 8.5/10

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Butternut Squash Risotto with Shrimp

Bon Appetit

  • 3 ounces pancetta (Italian bacon), chopped
  • 1 pound large uncooked deveined peeled shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 1 3/4 cups)
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 cup short-grain rice (such as arborio or carnaroli)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth, heated in microwave
  • 1 1-pound package peeled butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream

  • Instructions:
    1. Sauté pancetta in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat until fat renders and pancetta is browned and almost crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer to medium bowl.
    2. Sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper; add to saucepan. Sauté until browned and just opaque in center, about 3 minutes. Add to bowl with pancetta.
    3. Add oil to same saucepan, then onion and garlic; cook until onion is translucent, stirring often, about 5 minutes.
    4. Add rice; stir 1 minute. Add hot broth; increase heat and bring to boil. Add squash and sage; reduce heat to medium and simmer until rice is tender but still firm to bite and mixture is creamy, stirring often, about 15 minutes.
    5. Stir in cream, shrimp, and pancetta. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to large shallow bowl.

    I know this is a fairly common combination as I've ordered it in a few different restaurants. Does anyone have a similar recipe that you love?
    No matter which method I try, I don't think that there is a shortcut to making risotto. In my experience, cooking it the long way results in the best texture and consistency.

    Liz's Rating: 8/10