Emeril Lagasse’s Mushroom & Fall Squash Barley Risotto

20 11 2011

In the Thanksgiving issue of Food Network magazine, they mention how risotto might not be the most practical or traditionally Thanksgiving side dish – particularly because it usually requires lots of attention. But thanks to Emeril, this version of risotto virtually makes itself in a crock pot! The fall flavors actually paired up great along side The Perfect Ham I’ve been posting about tonight. Kids, you’ve GOT to give this one a whirl!

Mushroom and Fall Squash Barley Risotto

The following serves 4-6. I doubled the recipe for a dinner party of 9 and have a decent portion of left-overs, but I’m not complaining! A word to the wise, if you do double this recipe, be sure to double the cooking time.

  • 5 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1 and 1/2 cups pearl barley
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 lb baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 12 oz acorn squash, peeled, seeded and diced (this honestly is the most challenging part of the recipe…because this squash has grooves, I sliced it first and then peeled each piece)
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 3/4 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano

Heat 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the shallots and cook, stirring under tender – about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the barley, 1 and 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the white wine and cook, stirring until the wine is evaporated, about another 2 minutes. Transfer to the crock pot (at least 6-quart size).

Add 2 Tbsp butter and the remaining 1 Tbsp oil to the same saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until lightly browned and wilted and the fat has been absorbed, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Add the mushrooms, squash and chicken stock to the crock pot. Stir gently to combine. Set the crock pot to low and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the barely and squash are tender, about 2 hours, 30 minutes to 3 hours. Stir occasionally to ensure all of the grains are evenly cooked. Remove the lid and stir in the parsley, sage, 1/2 cup cheese and the remaining 2 Tbsp butter. Serve the risotto hot, garnished with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese and additional pepper, if desired.

 

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