This week we start with the fresh veggies on sale - winter squash, asparagus, zucchini - and end with a couple of chicken recipes direct from researcher Sheila Kern in the Shop Cheap kitchen. Enjoy!
Winter Squash Risotto
Serves 4 generously
6 to 7 cups chicken stock, as needed
2 tablespoons olive oil or butter, or 1 tablespoon each
1 small or 1/2 medium onion
1 pound winter squash (about 1/2 of a good-size butternut, for example), such as butternut, banana or hubbard, peeled, seeded and finely diced
2 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/4 cup)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Freshly ground pepper
Have the stock simmering on low heat in a saucepan.
Heat the oil or butter over medium heat in a large, heavy nonstick frying pan and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until the onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes, and add the squash, garlic, and about 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until the squash begins to soften, about 3 minutes, and add the rice. Cook, stirring, until the grains of rice are separate and beginning to crackle.
Stir in the wine and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. The wine should bubble, but not too quickly. You want some of the flavor to cook into the rice before it evaporates. When the wine has just about evaporated, stir in a ladleful or two of the simmering stock, enough to just cover the rice and squash. The stock should bubble slowly. Cook, stirring often, until it is just about absorbed.
Add another ladleful of the stock and continue to cook in this fashion, not too fast and not too slowly, adding more stock when the rice is almost dry, for 20 to 25 minutes. Taste a bit of the rice. Is it cooked through? It should taste chewy but not hard in the middle. Definitely not soft like steamed rice. If it is still hard in the middle, you need to add another ladleful of stock and cook for another 5 minutes or so. Now is the time to ascertain if there is enough salt. Add if necessary.
Add another small ladleful of stock to the rice. Stir in the Parmesan, nutmeg and parsley, and immediately remove from the heat. Add freshly ground pepper, taste one last time and adjust salt. The rice should be creamy. Stir for a couple of seconds, and serve.
Squash Rounds with Shallot-Cider Sauce
1 3-pound butternut squash, with a 6-inch-long neck
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cups thinly sliced shallots, (8-10 medium)
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cup apple cider
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
Cut off the neck of the squash and peel it. Slice into twelve 1/2-inch-thick rounds; remove any stray fibrous threads or seeds in the centers. (Reserve the rest of the squash for another use, such as squash puree). Place the squash rounds on the prepared baking sheet. Cover with foil.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the squash is tender, about 20 minutes more.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots, brown sugar and salt and reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring often, until the shallots are softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in cider and vinegar and cook until most of the liquid is evaporated, 6 to 8 minutes.
To serve, place 1 squash round on a small plate and top with about 2 1/2 tablespoons shallot sauce. Place a second round on top and finish with another 2 1/2 tablespoons of sauce and a sprinkling of walnuts. Repeat with the remaining squash, shallot sauce and walnuts.
Roasted Green and White Asparagus
Bon Appetit | June 2006
Yield: Makes 6 servings
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound white asparagus, trimmed, peeled, cut on diagonal into 3-inch lengths
1 pound green asparagus, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 3-inch lengths
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
Preheat oven to 450°F. Brush large rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Arrange all asparagus on prepared baking sheet. Whisk remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, shallots, and lemon peel in small bowl to blend; pour over asparagus and toss gently to coat. Spread asparagus in single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until asparagus is tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. If desired, rewarm in 450°F oven 5 minutes before continuing. Add parsley and toss gently. Transfer to platter and serve warm or at room temperature.
2008 Ellie Krieger, All rights reserved
Show: Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger Episode: Tricks of the Trade
Serving Size: 1/2 cup
2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound total)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan (3/4-ounce)
1/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs
1/8 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
Slice the zucchini into 1/4-inch thick rounds. In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini with the oil. In a small bowl, combine the Parmesan, bread crumbs, salt, and a few turns of pepper. Dip each round into the Parmesan mixture, coating it evenly on both sides, pressing the coating on to stick, and place in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake the zucchini rounds until browned and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove with spatula. Serve immediately.
Yield: 4 servings
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, (1-1 1/4 pounds), trimmed (see Tip)
1/2 cup pecan halves or pieces
1/4 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper, (see Note)
1 large egg white
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
Working with one piece of chicken at a time, place between sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet or heavy skillet until flattened to an even 1/4-inch thickness.
Place pecans, breadcrumbs, orange zest, salt and ground chipotle in a food processor and pulse until the pecans are finely ground. Transfer the mixture to a shallow dish. Whisk egg white and water in a shallow dish until combined. Dip each chicken breast in the egg-white mixture, then dredge both sides in the pecan mixture.
Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add half the chicken and cook until browned on the outside and no longer pink in the middle, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm. Carefully wipe out the pan with a paper towel and add the remaining oil. Cook the remaining chicken, adjusting the heat as needed to prevent scorching. Serve immediately.
Tips & Notes
Tip: It can be hard to find individual chicken breasts small enough for our recommended 4-ounce (uncooked) portion size. If yours are closer to 5 ounces each, remove the tender (about 1 ounce) from the underside to get the correct portion size. Wrap and freeze the leftover tenders; when you have gathered enough, use them in a stir-fry, for chicken fingers or in soups.
Note: Chipotle peppers are dried, smoked jalapeño peppers. Ground chipotle can be found in the specialty spice section of most supermarkets.
Honey-Mustard Ginger Grilled Chicken
Makes 4 servings
1/2 cup GREY POUPON Savory Honey Mustard
1/4 cup orange marmalade
2 Tbsp. finely chopped peeled gingerroot
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.)
Mix mustard, marmalade, ginger and garlic.
Place chicken in glass dish or plastic bag. Pour 1/4 cup of the mustard mixture over chicken; turn to coat. Cover. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Remove chicken from mustard mixture; discard mustard mixture.
Grill or broil chicken 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Heat remaining mustard mixture. Serve over chicken.
Kraft Kitchens Tips
Substitute 2 tsp. ground ginger for 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh gingerroot.