Monday, February 11, 2013

Roasted Sweet Potato Risotto

It has been way too long since we tried a new risotto recipe!! I used to make it often but haven't in quite a while.

I will always have a soft spot in my heart for risotto because way back when I first started my culinary adventures years ago, my friend told me about risotto (which I had never heard of) and it was one of the first NEW things I tried.  It was a butternut squash risotto, I think from Cooking Light, and it was pretty good but that was just the tip of the iceberg baby!!  We've come a long way with risotto since then.

This risotto is delicious and has all the flavor you'd expect during this time of year; delicious sweet potato, warm spices, and DO NOT leave out the bacon and browned butter.  Mmm, can we say mouth watering? If you're rearing to impress your sweetheart this week, try this one out on them, you can't go wrong. If sweet potato isn't your thing, check out more risotto here, here, here, here and definitely here!

Roasted Sweet Potato Risotto
for the sweet potatoes:
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp.  salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
 2 Tbsp.  olive oil 

for the risotto:
2 Tbsp.  unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1 cup white cooking wine
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 cups water
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp.  browned butter

4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a bowl, combine chopped sweet potatoes with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper, nutmeg and smoked paprika, tossing well to coat. Spread on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, tossing every 8-10 minutes. Remove and mash or puree.

Place bacon on a cookie sheet and place under broiler for about 3-4 minutes, keeping a close eye on it.  Flip and broil another 3-4 minutes or until crispy to your liking.  Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside for later.
Heat a small saucepan over medium-low heat and add stock and water. Heat until hot. If it begins to boil, turn down so it is no longer boiling. Keep on low while risotto cooks.

Heat a larger saucepan over medium heat. Add in remaining olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter, then add onion. Stir to coat and cook for 2-3 minutes until soft, then add in garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Increase heat slightly and add rice, stirring to coat. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring 2-3 times until the rice is translucent and begins to toast. Reduce heat to medium-low and add in wine. Continue to stir as the rice absorbs the wine. When most of it absorbed, add in about 1 cup of the warm stock.

Continue adding stock, about 1 cup at a time, stirring frequently and waiting for it to be absorbed before adding more.  When there is not much stock left, taste the risotto to see if it needs to continue cooking longer.  It should take about 20-25 minutes to finish and you may or may not need all the stock.  Don't worry about using it all if the risotto is done.

While risotto is cooking you can do the browned butter.  Place butter in a small saucepan or frying pan over medium-high heat.  Swirl the pan frequently and continue cooking until brown bits begin to form and it starts to smell nutty and turn a little brown. Remove from heat immediately.

Reduce heat to low and add about 3/4 cup of sweet potato puree.  Stir it in so it is well-absorbed into the rice.  Stir in parmesan and browned butter.  Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary. 

Serve warm topped with crumbled bacon and fresh parsley.

SOURCE: Slightly adapted from How Sweet It Is

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