Tuesday, March 02, 2010

No. I. Didn't.

Just because something CAN be done, doesn't always mean it should be done. Am I right? I mean look at stirrup pants. Or home perms. Or cloning! One must have the sensibility to decide that just because one posses es the means to do something, doesn't mean one should endeavor to do it.

So, picture it. I am on, trolling for an easy and quick recipe for tonight. Maybe something that didn't require a grocery trip. Or defrosting meat. Or standing over the stove for an hour.

Creamy Butternut Squash Risotto.

"But wait!" you are thinking. "Didn't you just say you wanted something QUICK? Something you didn't have to stand over the stove for?". Exactly, however this particular recipe piqued my interest with a key sentence "The secret to this quick-cooking risotto? The microwave! (If you don't tell, no one will guess.) "

Say what?

I am nothing if not daring (especially when the daring attempt actually encourages my inherent laziness) so I figured, what the hey let's give it a go. I love risotto. And if I could find a way to cut it's preparation time in half, the good times all around. Though to be honest I was expecting bad results, since microwaving risotto just seems....wrong.

The recipe itself is basically like any risotto recipe. Arborio rice. Chicken broth. Olive Oil. Some kind of vegetable (in this case, frozen cooked squash), Parmesan. First you pour your rice into a microwave proof bowl, measure out your olive oil, and mix thoroughly.

Then put it in the microwave on high for three minutes.I was surprised how good it was already looking. Nice and toasty. See the little brown flecks.

But wait? Why am I using a new bowl? Why is is the photo cropped?

Could it be because....

Oh yeah, my original bowl melted in the microwave. That's right. My 1970s Harvest Yellow Tupperware bowl melted, after being in the microwave on high for three minutes. And I thought those things were indestructible. When the world ended I thought there would be Cockroaches living in Tupperware homes and off of Twinkies. Not so.

To be honest that bowl is so old I am not even sure that microwaves were bring used when it was made. In any case, I scrapped the first batch and started anew with my trusty ol' Pyrex. Sure it's prone to explosions but it's easier to pick broken Pyrex out of your rice than melted plastic, oui?

Anyway, after the first three minutes of cooking, you remove the rice from the microwave and add all of your liquid and then put back in the microwave for another 9 minutes. When I took out the risotto after this step, it was looking a little rice pilaf-y to me. But I tasted some and it was definitely getting soft and tasted good.

After stirring I put it back in for six minutes or so. Then added my (heated up) frozen pureed squash, a handful of shredded Parmesan, a few pinches of fresh thyme, and some salt and pepper.

The result? Delicious. It was just slightly overdone for my taste....but I think that would have been prevented by maybe only cooking it 4-5 minutes the last time in the microwave, instead of 6. In any case it was really tasty, and it was nice to know a different, quicker and less time consuming time to make one of my favorite dishes.

And this was a case of something that I thought shouldn't be done, but it turns out I was wrong!

Just maybe don't use 40 year old plastic to cook it in!

Get the full recipe here.


Jenny said...

Nice! I still have yet to make your Sausage & Spinach Risotto - which also sounds awesome!

April Elizabeth said...

I am super excited about this recipe.

Randall @ Happy For This Moment said...

YUM! And condolences on your Tupperware bowl - so sad. said...

Too funny! This recipe is great and I have to tell you I was worried about the bowl from the first picture. I did however try this recipe in Tupperware and it worked great. I have a Tupperware business and own the Stack Cooker. I used the medium sized bowl from the Stack Cooker and I thought it worked out just fine. If you do this kind of recipe often and are interested in replacing your bowl, I'd be happy to toss you a credit towards a replacement. Happy Cooking!