Potato and Chickpea Curry and Saffron Risotto with Butternut Squash

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I am SOOOO behind in posting it’s not even funny! Because I’m so behind, I’ll only post two of the best recipes I’ve cooked lately.

The first recipe is a potato curry that has become a staple in our house.  I was sure that I had blogged about it before but I cannot find the post so I guess I didn’t.  It can be spicy or mild depending on the amount of ground mustard and cayenne pepper you use.  We like it spicy  but not blow-your-brain hot.

Potato Chickpea Curry

3 tbsp ghee
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground mustard (powder)
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
6 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cups of water
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup plain whole milk yogurt
1/2 cup frozen peas

In a large skillet, melt the ghee.  Add the spices and mix well.  Add the potatoes to the mix and stir to coat well with the spice mixture.  Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.

Add the water to the potatoes.  Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes.  Add the chickpeas and cook for a further 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.  Add the yogurt and the frozen peas, mix well.  Cook until heated through.

Serves 4

We eat this with rice and it’s so flipping good.

Next up is a really good take on risotto. I was watching the food network one morning while I was recovering from surgery and Ina Garten, aka The Barefoot Contessa, was on.  She was making what she claims was a quick lunch for a friend.  It was risotto with roasted butternut squash.  No, watching Ina is a bit painful I think but as far as her cooking and her recipes, she has yet to lead me astray.  Being a lover of seafood, butternut squash, etc, I decided to give this a go a few weeks later.  I was very happy with the results.  I made a few substitutions, mainly to accommodate for ingredients I actually had, but it was SOOO good.

Saffron Risotto with Butternut Squash

1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
2 ounces bacon, diced
1/2 cup minced shallots (2 large)
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (10 ounces)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon saffron threads
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds, and cut it into 3/4-inch cubes. You should have about 6 cups. Place the squash on a sheet pan and toss it with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing once, until very tender. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the chicken stock in a small covered saucepan. Leave it on low heat to simmer.
In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the bacon and shallots on medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until the shallots are translucent but not browned. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with butter. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add 2 full ladles of stock to the rice plus the saffron, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir, and simmer until the stock is absorbed, 5 to 10 minutes. Continue to add the stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring every few minutes. Each time, cook until the mixture seems a little dry, then add more stock. Continue until the rice is cooked through, but still al dente, about 30 minutes total. Off the heat, add the roasted squash cubes and Parmesan cheese. Mix well and serve.

Serves 4 to 6

I used smoked bacon and the sweetness of the squash went beautifully with it as well as the saltiness of the cheese.  It was really, really good.  The leftovers were almost even better the next day!

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