Wild mushroom, smoked garlic and butternut squash risotto

It would come as no surprise to people who have seen the rate at which I can shovel rice into my mouth, but I love it. In particular I love squidgy, carby risotto. Depending on the ingredients you use you can make it pretty healthy as well as being delicious (as long as you don’t add too much cheese). Personally, I found that once I’d got the hang of how to cook a basic  I could put any combination of ingredients into it as long as I understood that certain vegetables tend to go soft if cooked too long.
A few days ago my lovely friend Ms S and I had an impromptu after work meal together. A girl after my own heart, she enjoys eating yummy food and also massages my ego by telling me how much she likes what I (or we) have cooked. Somehow I managed to make double what I wanted and we got a decent helping for our tea (or dinner/supper whatever you want to call it) and another helping for lunch.

Here are the ingredients for this particular :

A knob of butter

2 shallots finely chopped

2 cloves of smoked garlic

At least 2 large handfuls of wild mushrooms of your choice

Chicken or vegetable stock (I prefer chicken but vegetable stock is pretty lovely too, and you will need to use this if you happen to be cooking for a hungry vegetarian)

1/3 of a butternut squash cut into small pieces

Henderson’s relish – it’s basically Worcester sauce for Yorkshire folk

White wine or balsamic vinegar

Mixed herbs and chives

Salt and pepper as required

100g of risotto rice per person (I ended up topping up mine with long grain rice as I ran out and it tasted ok, just personal preference really)

Melt your butter in a frying pan on a medium to high heat, add your crushed garlic and shallots and gently cook until soft.

Add your butternut squash and fry for a few minutes until it starts to soften.

Rinse your mushrooms. I got the tiny mushrooms you pull apart so I spent a happy few minutes pulling apart mushrooms and adding them to the mixture.  Fry the mushrooms for a couple of minutes until they change colour a tiny bit.

Add your rice and fry for a few seconds so that the rice absorbs the butter and vegetable water. Add your stock, wine or balsamic vinegar, herbs and Henderson’s relish.

The next part of risotto making requires patience. Switch the risotto onto a low heat and let the rice absorb the water while you occasionally stir. If the mixture dries out add boiling water and a bit of wine. Top tip – only add a little water at a time, you aren’t making soup!

Your kitchen should be filling with wonderful smells by this point. If you fancy it, have a glass of wine (or a cup of tea if you prefer). Once the rice is looks sticky and is free of starch grains taste the mixture and add more seasoning if you require.

It might not look extremely pretty but I can assure you, it tastes pretty great!

You can serve this with parmesan cheese if you like, but I didn’t as I was having a day of no dairy products. Please ignore my poor chipped bowls, I am extremely clumsy and have an unfortunate habit of breaking crockery.

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