Deb of Kahakai Kitchen had the honor of choosing November’s first Bonus Recipe for Barefoot Bloggers since she referred the most people to the group’s site. I was so hoping someone would pick these Chive Risotto Cakes soon. Ever since I got Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics I’ve been eyeing them up.
I thought up a few tips of what to do (or not do) if you attempt these risotto cakes.
1. Make sure you use a non-stick pan.
2. Turn the heat up higher. I had mine at medium-low at first, but cranked it up to medium high later on.
3. Use plenty of olive oil.
4. Don’t be gentle with the cakes as you’re forming them. Really smash them together. It helps them hold their shape.
5. Do not under any circumstances use a cheap plastic spatula with an already melted flat edge to try to turn them over.
I made a lot of cakes so I had a lot of chances to mess them up and figure out the best way to handle them. The boyfriend helped and eventually we got a good system going. I was trying to be too delicate with them at first which seemed to make things worse actually. They were falling apart left and right. I got tough and decided I had to show those risotto cakes who was boss. By a certain point, I was so tired of touching the stuff that we put a whole bunch in the pan with a little panko on top and cooked it that way instead.
These were so good. I loved them. I knew I would. They were good right from the pan, good after 30 minutes of warming at 250 in the oven, good after sitting out for a while, and good the next day cold. You can’t go wrong here.
Visit Kahakai Kitchen for the recipe. Thanks for a great choice, Deb! There’s still one more bonus recipe for November – Mini Orange Chocolate Chunk Cakes…. Mmmm. I have all the ingredients but haven’t got around to making this one yet. Soon.
Ahhh, risotto. I love it. Rachel of Rachel Likes to Cook chose Butternut Squash Risotto for the October 9th edition of Barefoot Bloggers. I’m just now getting around to posting about it, but it’s one I definitely didn’t want to miss. Risotto is a traditional Italian rice dish and if you’d never had it before, you wouldn’t think it’s all that just hearing about it. But it is so GOOD. I’ve never made it myself at home before, I usually only get it when the boyfriend and I have a fancy dinner out.
What I knew about making risotto beforehand was that it’s not that hard but it’s not super easy either. The contestants on Hell’s Kitchen always seemed to mess it up, so from the show I learned that you really need to watch it close. I also knew that too much stirring was bad news. I kept all this in mind and hoped for my best effort, or at least a passable one, because this stuff right here… you know, saffron….
is freaking EXPENSIVE! I did my research and found out that it’s the most expensive spice in the world by weight because it has to be cultivated by hand. By hand?!? I instantly understood the high price then. I read that some of the other bloggers tried substituting cinnamon for the saffron. I guess this could be a solution if you didn’t want to fork over all those extra dollars. From what I’ve read though, do not try to substitute turmeric for the saffron unless you desire your meal to be inedible.
I had to use bacon in place of pancetta because I couldn’t find it at my local store. I think maybe the bacon contributed to the risotto being just a little too salty. I’m real sensitive to the taste of salt though, my Mom used as little as she could in cooking when I was growing up and we NEVER, EVER had a salt shaker on the table. To this day, it absolutely floors me when I see someone get served a meal and immediately go for the salt before even tasting their food.
Anyway, my risotto came out browner than some of the other pictures I’ve seen of it on the net, maybe the bacon was to blame for the darker color too. Other than the overage of salt, this was damn good. The butternut squash gave a semi-sweet element that was a nice contrast. The risotto may have been a little thick because I over stirred, but if it was I didn’t notice that much. Another five star recipe from Ina, I’m starting to believe this woman can do no wrong.
Thanks to Rachel for choosing this recipe. It definitely pushed me in a new culinary direction and I’m glad. My cooking skills seriously are lacking in comparison to my baking skills so anything new is a big learning experience for me. Coming up soon for the Barefoot Bloggers is Vegetable Pot Pie chosen by Deb of Kahakai Kitchen! Stay tuned…
Ina Garten’s Butternut Squash Risotto
1 butternut squash (2 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
2 ounces pancetta, diced
1/2 cup minced shallots (2 large)
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (10 ounces)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon saffron threads
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Click here for directions!
On a related note: Unfortunately, I’ve had to drop out of a few of the food blogging groups I was a member of. Being a part of so many different ones eventually proved to be too much after a while and I was really struggling to keep up. I’ve decided to only do Tuesdays with Dorie and Barefoot Bloggers from now on.
Also, one more thing…
Thanks so much to the both of you for passing along this award to me. It really means a lot to get recognition from fellow bloggers who I truly admire!