Farewell wreath and tinsel, until we meet again! For Christmas, Andy and I stayed with my family on Bald Head Island off the coast of North Carolina. Yes, we played on the beach on Christmas day and yes, it was fabulous. My nieces and I gathered sea shells and discussed the meaning of life while the boys played beach soccer and grunted. All was well with the world in those sweet moments. Family is not always peaceful and perfect but I cherish the time we spent all together in one big house cooking, laughing, and bananagram-ing the days away.
Tonight on the eve of coldest day of the year I have already forgotten the warmth of the shores of sweet Carolina and instead turn towards comfort food to warm me from the inside out. This dish was inspired by all of my favorite ingredients; butternut squash, goat cheese, kale, mushrooms, and cream. Did I mention goat cheese?
The outside temperature is forecasted to dip below zero tonight so I think I'll stay in, watch old HGTV episodes and eat my fill of risotto. There is absolutely no way I am leaving my house. So in the name of goat cheese make this recipe and do the same.
Yields: 4 servings Time: 30 minutes
- 1/2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp coarse sea salt
- 1/4- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 medium yellow onion, minced
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
- 4 cups of vegetable broth
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup sliced baby portabello mushrooms
- 2 cups kale de-ribbed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 2 cups butternut squash, cubed (1/4 inch)
- 3-4 oz. goat cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place cubed butternut squash on a greased baking sheet and toss with olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Until slightly golden brown and delightfully crisp.
In a saucepan on medium heat, melt the butter and add the minced onion. Sautee onions until translucent (approximately 3-5 minutes). Next add the mushrooms and kale to the pan and allow to cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the arborio rice and stir until coated with all of the pan's tasty contents. Stir in the white wine and allow to cook down (approximately 3-5 minutes). Once wine is absorbed, add one cup of stock to pan stirring constantly until absorbed (approximately 3 minutes). Repeat this step until all stock has been added. It will take about 15-20 minutes.
Next add the the thick, luscious, wonderful cream! Commence mouth watering. But wait, there's more! Break apart three ounces of goat cheese and stir into the creamy rice mixture. Add the baked butternut squash and toss. Serve with remaining ounce of goat cheese sprinkled on top. Eat entire bowl by yourself. Justify by saying you need the extra insulation for this cold winter's night.