Anyway, lately, on Facebook, everyone has been writing about the things they are thankful for in preparation for the big day of thankfulness, Thanksgiving. Which is tomorrow, by the way. Tomorrow. True to form, Thanksgiving snuck up on me and all of a sudden I looked up and realized I needed to pack because I'm leaving for Texas in three hours. Even so, I do like the idea of saying, out loud, what we are thankful for, if for no other reason than to remind us to be thankful.
So, here goes: Thankfulness, A List:
- I'm thankful for family. Right now they are sitting around our kitchen table playing some dice game for quarters, because it's not fun if your not playing for money. They're pretty cool.
- I'm also thankful that we're all able to be together right now.
- I'm thankful for friends, especially the ones who I can call and pick up a conversation from 4 months ago as if no time had passed at all.
- That guy I eat dinner with sometimes. I'm very thankful for him. I'm not sure I've met someone that knows me as well as he does, which is all the time awesome and sometimes a little jarring. Like when I'm annoyed because he reminds me to not to forget the vodka 4 times, and then I have to go back home because I forgot the vodka. Whatever.
- I'm pretty thankful for my uncoordinated, obese, lovey-dovey kitty cat. He brings me a whole lot of joy, and all I have to do is make sure his food bowl isn't empty!
- I'm thankful to live in a city that has seasons. Remind me of this in January-March.
- I'm also thankful that I can walk pretty much everywhere in that city.
- And that there are airplanes to take me away from that city, if need be. See: January-March.
- I'm thankful for my job. I absolutely love what I do. It's fun, challenging, inspiring, and rewarding.
- I'm thankful that I'm in a Fellowship that is supportive and has given me the opportunity to pursue my Masters.
- Good health, too. Two of my toes are currently broken, but other than that, it's good!
- I'm thankful for good food.
- I'm thankful for cooking and that it's such a great creative outlet for me.
- And this space right here and for Y-O-U. I love that I get to write about food, and I love that you are reading it.
- Lastly, I'm very thankful for risotto. Though this shouldn't surprise any of you.
I've never cooked with butternut squash and I don't know why because it's super delicious and super easy. It's also super beautiful. Would you look at that color? Lovely.
I started making this risotto by peeling and chopping a large butternut squash into 1/2 inch pieces. I diced some onion too. Meanwhile, I put 4 cups of chicken stock over medium heat and brought it to a simmer. That comes later.
Then, in a large dutch oven, I heated some olive oil and added 4 links of chicken sausage.
I turned them until they were brown on all sides, then took them out of the pan and cut them on the bias.
Next, I added a little more olive oil to the pan and when it was hot, I added the onion and the butternut squash.
I let that cook for a couple of minutes, then added some minced garlic and the sliced chicken sausage.
That cooked for a few minutes, then I added 1 cup of arborio rice and stirred for 1 minute, just to toast the rice a little.
Now it's risotto time! First comes the wine and STIR!
Then chicken stock! STIR!
Then more chicken stock! In 1/2 cup increments! Until the rice is tender! STIR!
When the rice is al dente, remove from the heat and add a little cream, a little butter, and a little cheese.
Here's the deal, the risotto is a lot prettier than that, but because it's orange, and it's in a blue pot, the camera made the color a little funky. And I either don't have a setting, or don't know how to use my camera enough to fix it. Just trust me here.
Serve this risotto with some extra cheese on top and a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper.
If I had been able to find some sage, I would have put that in here too, but I haven't been able to find sage. I guess I could go to a different grocery store. I should probably go to a different grocery store.
The butternut squash in this risotto becomes soft but still holds it's shape. It colors the risotto a lovely orange Fall-ish color which I adore, and it's creamy, rich, warm, and filling.
I'm so thankful for creamy, rich, warm, and filling risotto. I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving tomorrow and take some time, if you haven't already, to think about what you're thankful for. Big or small, just give thanks.
Here's the recipe!
Butternut Squash Risotto with Chicken Sausage
- 1 Large butternut squash, peeled, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 4 links Chicken sausage (I used a roasted garlic variety, but whatever looks good would probably be fine)
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1/2 cup White wine
- 1/4 cup light cream
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- Salt and Black Pepper
- In a medium pot, heat chicken stock over medium heat until simmering. Reduce heat and keep warm.
- In a large dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add chicken sausage links and let brown on all sides. Transfer to a cutting board and slice.
- Add remaining olive oil to the pot and heat. Add butternut squash and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add garlic and chicken sausage and cook for 3 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper
- Add arborio rice and stir for 1 minute. Add white wine and stir constantly until all liquid is absorbed.
- In 1/2 cup increments, add chicken stock then stir until liquid is absorbed. Repeat until rice is al dente, which should take about 30-40 minutes. You may not use all of the chicken stock, but then again, you may!
- When the rice is al dente, remove from the heat and add cream, butter, and cheese. Stir to combine. Taste for seasonings and adjust if necessary.
- Serve with additional Parmesan cheese and black pepper if desired. If you have sage, mince that up and throw it on! Yum!
Enjoy! And Happy Thanksgiving!