Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sweet Potato Risotto

October. Autumn. Changing of the Seasons. Football. Halloween. Thanksgiving.

All this should be striking up a cold weather cord, but here in AZ the weather is still hot (the high today was 93)! I keep seeing the commercials for warm cozy fires, the leaves changing to the beautiful orange, gold, and red that signify that soon winter will be here, Thanksgiving. My poor little Kansas heart still doesn't quite grasp the fact that here, instead of what most of the United States knows as fall, it's really like spring time. The grass is greener, the trees and bushes are really starting to show their colors, flowers are blooming... It's not fair. My body is telling me to grab a hot cup of cider, wrap up in a blanket, and snuggle up, but quite frankly it's still too hot for that! I want cooler weather! I want to play in a pile of leaves! I want to wear some cute sweaters and scarves! I want a cup of hot cider! And, I want some good fall food!

UGGHH!!! (Phew, that feels better, sorry about that!)
I had all intentions of making something today from the fresh strawberries we picked up at the farmers market. They smelled so delicious that I was thinking a strawberry spinach salad, or some strawberry avocado salsa over a grilled steak. But my heart just wasn't in it. It sounded to springy. Too much like it was still summer. Sigh Why can't it be fall weather here too?
I know I shouldn't complain, but I'm totally jealous of all the food posts I've seen of fall foods, so today, despite the hot weather, I made a fall dinner. HA! Take that Arizona heat!
I am on a total sweet potato kick lately. I don't know if it's because Bailey actually likes something that's healthy for her, or what, but I want them all the time! I am, however, pretty worn out on sweet potato fries and really didn't want to make the typical sweet, sweet potato dish. So I stumbled upon this amazing little gem of a recipe: Sweet Potato Risotto. Sounded pretty delicious with some minor adjustments and some roasted chicken! Yum! I'm escaping to my own little corner of fall in my brain right now!
Sweet Potato Risotto
(Makes about 6 servings, 247 calories)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 large sweet potato (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup medium grain rice
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock
3 cups water
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (2 ounces)
½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 4 to 6 minutes.
  2. In separate saucepan or microwave safe container, mix stock and water. Heat mixture and keep hot for duration of cooking.
  3. Add the sweet potatoes and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the wine and cook, stirring frequently, until absorbed.
  6. Add 3/4 cup of stock at a time and cook, stirring occasionally and waiting until each addition is absorbed before adding the next. It should take 25 to 30 minutes for all the water to be absorbed.
  7. Stir in the Parmesan and poultry seasoning.
(NOTE: When making risotto it is very important to make sure that the liquid being added is at the same temperature as the rice or hotter, otherwise rice will become hard on the inside and mushy on the outside. Also, the amount of liquid needed may vary, you may need to use more or less until desired consistency is met. If using chicken broth instead of stock, do not dilute with water, use 5 cups broth instead.)
 Oh, my, goodness! This dish was delicious! I have never made risotto before, but this was super easy. The hardest part was that I really couldn't walk away from it. The only bad thing about it was that the parmesan was a little too much, I think next time I'll only add a 1/4 cup instead.

I can't believe how creamy this was. And it was honestly even good before I added the parmesan cheese to it, so you're really not losing too much if you make it dairy free. The sweet potatoes didn't taste like anything that I've ever had, since this is the first time I've made them savory. I cannot wait to try this one again.
Thank goodness for a dinner escape to fall. Now back to Arizona reality.
What foods help you escape from the weather blahs?

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