Another fall dish with the butternut squash. I adapted this dish from Martha Stewart’s What to Have for Dinner (New York: Time, 1995), a compilation of recipes from her magazine, arranged by season. I always found it to be a good post Thanksgiving dish to use up all the turkey stock I had from cooking the turkey carcass, even though the recipe calls for chicken stock.
My changes are few:
- Using more stock instead of wine
- Using sage instead of rosemary
- Using ready-made stock if I don’t have any of my own on hand
- In addition, Stewart’s risotto uses mashed butternut squash, which makes a really thick and hearty consistency to the final product. I like to use half mashed squash and half cubed for a little variety in the consistency.
- I have made the same recipe with long-grain brown rice, which adds a whole different taste, but today I used the arborio rice called for in traditional risotto.
You can find Stewart’s recipe here: http://www.marthastewart.com/338749/butternut-squash-risotto
Note: If there are people in your family who, like my husband, don’t recognize al dente as a valid stage of doneness, you don’t have to cook the risotto to death, just cover the pan when it’s done and let it sit and steam for a few more minutes until the grains of rice are more fully tender.
Includes the recipes for “Deep-fried Breaded Shrimp, Rice with Peas and Parmesan, and Vanilla Ice Cream.”
It’s summer and one daughter and granddaughter are visiting, so there’s that tug between not wanting to do any cooking and doing a little as a treat for guests. I decided to just do it all in one day and let the machines take over. The rest of the week will just be opportunistic eating.
I dragged out the Waring Pro® Deep Fryer (I see the newer ones are digital) and made some breaded shrimp. It couldn’t be easier, except for the three stage flour-egg-bread crumb process and the post eating clean up. In between, the frying is elementary and with no mess. Afterward everything except the heating element goes in the dishwasher after the oil cools, and you really can’t keep oil in which seafood has been fried, even if you strained it in cheesecloth, so disposing of a gallon of canola oil is a kind of a waste.
To go with the shrimp, I let the Black & Decker® rice cooker cook some arborio rice in chicken stock, with peas and Parmesan cheese.
After dinner, I made some vanilla ice cream in the Cuisinart® ice cream maker, with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Minis added as desired by each guest.
Deep-fried Breaded Shrimp, Rice with Peas and Parmesan, and Vanilla Ice Cream
Deep Fried Breaded Shrimp
- 2 lbs large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
- 1 gallon cooking oil, or whatever your device requires
- 1-2 cups all-purpose flour, seasoned to taste with salt & pepper
- 3-4 eggs, whisked with 1/2 to 1 cup water
- 2-3 cups breadcrumbs, seasoned or plain
Add the oil to the fryer and begin heating to 350° Set up the breading ingredients (flour, egg mixture, bread crumbs) in three separate containers for breading the shrimp. I put the flour in a large zippered bag and coated all the shrimp at once. I put about a third of the floured shrimp at a time in the egg mixture, turning them with a large spoon to coat. Then I put in the breadcrumb bowl with a slotted spoon to drain off excess liquid. I used another large spoon to turn the shrimp in the breadcrumbs. Shrimp are small enough that they are one of the few things you can bread without breading all your fingers in the process. I set out the breaded shrimp on paper towels to dry a little while the oil heated.
About ten shrimp in the basket cook in 1-2 minutes, then drain on paper towels while the rest cook.
Rice with Peas and Parmesan
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 2 teaspoons Better Then Bouillon® chicken base
- 2-3 cups water (I use extra water because of the addition of cheese and peas)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- 1 cup frozen baby peas
Plan your rice based on your cooking method and type of rice to be ready shortly after all the shrimp are fried. Follow your cooker’s directions. Arborio rice cooks quickly in a rice cooker—about 30 minutes. during the last five minutes of cooking, stir in the cheese and peas. With arborio rice, this is a creamy dish.
Vanilla Ice Cream
Recipe Credit: Cuisinart® Ice Cream Maker
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1-2 teaspoons vanilla
This simple recipe is not one that requires cooking an egg-based custard and comes together quickly. Simply mix the milk and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add the cream and vanilla. Start the machine and pour in the mixture. Churn for 25-30 minutes. The ice cream will be soft and about the consistency of an extra-thick milkshake. You can eat it or put it in the freezer for an hour or two to firm up. Serve with toppings, like Reese’s® Peanut Butter Cup Minis.
I hope this doesn’t sound like a complicated meal, because it really was simple and stress free. Tomorrow, the zoo and maybe some summer fare at Sara’s and Sally’s on the peninsula.