I love making and eating risotto, and I’ve even featured an asparagus version on this blog before. In that post, I referenced how you could make risotto with beer instead of the traditional wine. That’s what I’ve done here, and it is so good. This risotto is citrusy and slightly sweet with just a touch of shrimpiness. My risotto-cooking technique has also progressed to the point where I can rely on it spreading beautifully on the plate and the rice being perfectly cooked. If you’ve had bad risotto experiences before, try this one!
To make this risotto, first prepare your butternut squash. You can either bake or steam it until it turns fork tender. I steamed mine in the microwave. To do so, cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Lay the halves face down in a microwave-safe dish, add a little water to the dish, and cover it with saran wrap. Microwave the squash for about 15 minutes until it is tender (if your squash is smaller, check it after 10 minutes).
Then, soften a diced onion and some minced garlic in olive oil in a heavy pot. In the meantime, heat 1 quart of stock (chicken or vegetable) in a pot with some thyme and rosemary. When the onion is soft, add 1 cup of arborio rice to the pot and stir it around to coat it in the olive oil. 1 cup of rice yields at least 3 servings. Add 1/2 cup of beer (I used Blue Moon) and stir it around until it’s mostly absorbed by the rice.
Once the beer is absorbed, add 2 ladles of stock to the risotto and stir it frequently (if not constantly) until it’s mostly absorbed. Repeat the process of adding 2 ladles of stock and stirring until most of the stock is used up.
This is how dry I let the rice get before I add more stock.
Before you add in the last ladle of stock, drop your raw shrimp into the risotto. Add the stock and stir until it is mostly absorbed but still looser than you would want the risotto to be when you serve it. Turn off the heat.
Then, mix in half of the butternut squash, salt, pepper, the zest from 1/2 orange, 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese, and 1 teaspoon of sugar to cut through the zest’s acidity.
Your risotto is ready to serve. Put some on a plate and add more parmesan cheese to the top. Every bite of this risotto was so delicious. I love how refreshing the orange is. In addition to loving this meal, I hope you feel deep satisfaction when your risotto spreads perfectly on your plate. Yummm.
- Onion- 1
- Garlic- 2 cloves
- Olive oil- 2 tablespoons
- Arborio rice- 1 cup
- Beer (Blue Moon)- 1/2 cup
- Chicken stock- 1 quart
- Rosemary and thyme- 1/2 teaspoon of each
- Shrimp- 10, large
- Butternut squash- 1/2
- Parmesan cheese- 1/4 cup, grated
- Orange- 1
- Sugar- 1 teaspoon
- Salt and pepper