The last of the automn crops & a delicious roasted squash, oyster mushroom risotto with brown butter sage and truffle oil

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This is it, almost the end. The market is getting smaller with every week, my hats, scarves and mittens have come out of hiding and the weather has dipped. Funny how we’re never prepared to have winter arrive yet when spring shows its face, it can never come soon enough! The good news with this kind of weather is cooking. Comfort. Food.! I love it 🙂

 

I created this dish kind of as an afterthought. I had bought the mushrooms and forgotten them and needed to cook them ASAP. I originally wanted to make a seafood risotto but forgot to buy the seafood…(!) As I looked around, the winter squash looked back at me and then an idea started to form. How about roasting the pumpkin in the oven with a bit of maple syrup and Piment Espelette. The result was even better than I imagined, the roasted squash melding with the rice as I stirred, giving it a beautiful colour. Yay! Seeing as the oven was on, I might as well roast the seeds and mushrooms as well. Cooking alone means you have smaller quantities and therefore I try to only turn the oven when I have more that one dish. Multitasking = better energy consumption. You kind of have to be super organised to function this way, what can I say, the environment and its health are important to me 🙂

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INGREDIENTS

1 cup thinly sliced winter squash (with skins if variety permits) cut to 2 inch pieces, tossed with 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon Piment d’Espelette and salt to taste

1 cup oyster mushrooms, tossed in a dash of olive oil and salt

1 small shallot, diced

1 small sprig sage

1 tablespoon pine nuts

1 teaspoon butter

1/4 cup arborio rice

1/2-3/4 cups chicken stock

Salt and pepper to taste

Truffle oil

INSTRUCTIONS

Pre-heat oven to 375°. Place tossed squash on baking dish lined with parchment paper, place oyster mushrooms on a second dish. Roast in oven for 25-35 minutes, keeping an eye out for burning. Let cool while preparing the other ingredients.

In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat, place sage leaves face down and pine nuts. Allow butter to brown lightly. Remove sage leaves when roasted, add shallots and sweat for 2-3 minutes. Add rice and sweat a further 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add stock a few tablespoons at a time, stirring frequently and allowing rice to absorb liquid before adding more. After 15 minutes, add half the roasted squash, continue adding stock and stirring, until rice is cooked and has creamy texture, roughly 20-30 minutes. Add remaining squash, stir to blend and add more stock if needed. Serve in plate, garnish with roasted mushrooms and sage leaves. Lightly sprinkle a dash of truffle oil and enjoy! Serves one, can easily be doubled for a lunch leftover, however add more liquid to refrigerated portion, as it will continue to absorb.

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Stick to your ribs chili and can’t stop eating them biscuits

It’s Super Bowl Sunday, so I was inspired to cook up some comfort fare, such as a delicious chili with biscuits to sop up all that juicy goodness. Each are absolutely delicious on their own ( I actually ate ALL the biscuits, I just couldn’t stop! ), but why deny yourself perfection?  The long simmer of the chili breaks down the chicken and ends up melting into the sauce. The biscuits are so flaky and delicious, they can be eaten alone, with jam & butter, anything really! I used a combination of whey leftover from making greek yogurt and yogourt instead of buttermilk and the result is fantastic! So let the chili simmer, crack open a beer and enjoy your Sunday!

Chicken chili

Ingredients

230 gr. chicken thighs, cubed

2/3 cup red lentils

1 medium onion, diced

1/2 of each orange, red & yellow peppers, diced

1 tomato, diced

1/2 cup corn kernels

1 1/2 cup tomato sauce

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 stick cinnamon

1 tablespoon mexican chili

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

Garnish with sour cream, grated cheese, diced avocado and cilantro

Instructions

Sauté chicken thighs until browned, add onions and continue cooking until soft and translucent. Add garlic, chili, cumin and paprika and sweat the spices for 1-2 minutes. Add peppers, tomatoes, tomato sauce, corn & cinnamon. Cover and simmer on low heat for 1 1/2 hours. Check that chicken has pulled apart, if not muddle with a wooden spoon until meat pulls appart. Continue simmering for a further hour uncovered. Add lentils and cook for 30 minutes more. Serves 2 with toppings and biscuits. Both can be frozen seperately for 3-4 months. Enjoy!

Biscuits

Ingredients

1 cup flour

4 tablespoons butter

45ml whey

45ml yogourt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 ° . Sift all the dry ingredients together. Cut in the butter until rough crumbles occur without overworking, add liquid and stir in using a wooden spoon. When you have a shaggy dough, lightly need with your hands 5 or 6 times. It’s important not to overwork the dough, keeping pockets of butter will make the dough flaky. Roll out the dough to 1″ thickness and cut using a floured cutter or glass. PLace on parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until light golden brown. Let cool. Makes 6 medium or 8 small biscuits, biscuits can be frozen in an airtight container for 3-4 months.