Monday, January 13, 2014

Sweet Potato Risotto

Risotto is one of those dishes that seems much more difficult to make than it really is. It doesn't take long to make and it isn't tricky.  The catch is that you do need to be nearby, adding stock or water ever 5 minutes or so, while it is cooking. My solution to being stuck in the kitchen for 20-30 minutes while something is simmering away on the stove is to pour myself a nice big glass of wine and watch the magic happen. The result of this cooking style and this particular variety of rice is a thick, creamy dish that warms you up to the core.  Perfect for the winter months.  To make this risotto even more fun, I added sage and roasted sweet potatoes.  This would make a great vegetarian dinner or lunch and I served it as a side dish with a roast chicken.
Sweet Potato Risotto
1 large sweet potato
fresh sage (12-16 leaves or so)
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
1 cup Arborio Rice
1/2 cup white wine (room temperature)
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock (or water)
1/4 cup grate Parmesan cheese
olive oil
salt and pepper
1.  Preheat oven to 375.  Peel and chop the sweet potato into 1/2 inch cubes.  Set the cubes on a lined baking tray and toss with 1 Tbs. olive oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper and 6-8 whole sage leaves. 
Bake for 20-30 minutes, until tender and starting to caramelize.

2.  Heat the stock (or water) in a pot on the stove to a low simmer.  You want the stock to be hot while you are adding it to the risotto.
While the sweet potatoes are baking and the stock is warming, start on the risotto...

3.  Finely dice the onion and garlic.  Heat 2 Tbs. oil over medium-high heat and sauté the onions and garlic with 6-8 sage leaves and a sprinkle of salt and pepper for 3-4 minutes.
4.  Add the rice and continue to sauté for 2-3 minutes.
5.  Add the room temperature white wine and stir until it is incorporated into the rice - about 5 minutes.  Then add 1/2 cup hot stock to the pot and stir.  The stock will slowly become absorbed by the rice to transform this from a rice, into a creamy risotto. 
6. Continue to add 1/2 cup of stock every 4-5 minutes, until the stock is fully absorbed and the rice is tender.
7.  When the sweet potatoes are finished cooking, remove them from the oven.  Your risotto should be about finished now too, so turn off the heat and add the potatoes and Parmesan Cheese.  Stir to combine.  

One Year AgoLemon Artichoke Pasta
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Three Years AgoStuffed Cabbage

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