Flavour Enhancers for Future Recipes

Flavour is a huge component to a dish and to cooking it. If a dish is under or over seasoned it can really affect the taste and experience of the dish. Simply over salting a dish will make all that work inedible and you will be ordering pizza in. 😉

As I was rummaging through my fridge, I found some ingredients that once cooked and purée would be similar and even better than a store-bought version of  ‘marinade’ or ‘spice package’. I can control the amount of salt, fat etc. leaving the chemicals out.

Bonus: Not wasting the mushrooms that might be on the edge….

The following are recipes for what I’m labelling as ‘Flavour Enhancers’.

I will be using them in future recipes on the 5 o’clock rush

Continue to recipes

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The Recipe for a Butternut Squash Risotto

Butternut Squash Risotto garnished with saute cremini mushrooms, toasted pinenuts and finely chopped sage leaves.

Butternut Squash Risotto garnished with saute cremini mushrooms, toasted pinenuts and finely chopped sage leaves.

Risotto is a dish that is easy to prepare and it really is about developing the technique.  The rice is cooked briefly in a soffritto of onion and olive oil this is to coat each grain in fat. I added finely chopped fennel or finocchio , garlic and shallots to my soffritto.  Once the onions are translucent and the rice is toasted add a cup or more of white wine to be absorbed by the rice.  You can turned the heat up to a medium high heat and gradually add a couple ladles of very hot stock. I used a low sodium vegetable stock. The process of making risotto is to gradually add the stock in small amounts while stirring gently, almost constantly. This develops the starch and creates that smooth creamy textured liquid. I account that the completed risotto should be 18-20 minutes.  So in the remaining minutes, I added the roasted butternut squash then it is finished with a finely grated cheese either Parmesan or a Pecorino Romano. I prefer the Romano. Some cooks will add small pats of cubed butter but I feel that if you have cooked the risotto properly you will not need this to create creamy texture. Make sure adjust the flavour with salt and pepper.  The risotto will be rich and creamy but still with some resistance or bite: al dente, and with separate grains.  I garnished my finished Butternut Squash Risotto with saute cremini mushrooms, toasted pinenuts and finely chopped sage.

3 cups of roasted butternut squash, cubed

3 tbsp. of olive oil

1 small onion, diced

1/4 cup of fennel, finely chopped

1 shallot, finely minced

1 clove of garlic, finely minced

1 1/2 cups of Arborio rice

1 cup of white wine

7 1/2 – 8 cups of low sodium vegetable stock

1/4 cup of Pecorino Romano cheese, grated

season with salt and white pepper

garnish with saute cremini mushrooms, toasted pinenuts and finely chopped sage

Makes approx. 6 servings

Enjoy! 🙂