Butternut Squash and Mushroom Risotto; Menu of the Week

We had a storm last night….

Which, being a good geek, meant I unplugged both computers.

This morning, as long as they were already unplugged, I decided it was time for the bi-monthly blow-out.

A lot of people don’t do this…. I would hazard a guess that probably 99.9% don’t do this.

But when you’re restoring an old farmhouse, and living in it, with dogs, it’s necessary.

I used to do it every six months, but last August I found spider webs…. and a spider, in mon mari’s computer.  I decided every two months might be a better idea.

It only takes a minute: I unplug everything, take the computer out to the barn, take off the side panel and, ever so gently, blast all the dust out with the air compressor.  Usually the power supply is the dirtiest…. no idea why.

Some days, like today, after he’s been doing a lot of sanding and sawing, I get a very impressive dust cloud.

What’s really amazing is how well everything is built now, that it all keeps on running… Even for the other 99.9%.

My very first computer was in it’s own, separately air-conditioned, clean room, complete with special floor.

We have come along way, baby….

Now if I could rig something up so that I could blast the dust in the living room with the air compressor and suck it all in with the vacuum….

See – the air compressor will blast away the dust without disturbing anything.  The vacuum sucks up everything in it’s path.

Oh well – house cleaning is an SEP for 3 weeks!

(SEP – from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Somebody Else’s Problem)

Sunday we’re off to Paris for a few days, then I’m off to the US.

I’ve scheduled some posts for your entertainment while I’m gone.  Aren’t you relieved?

Here’s a fantastic risotto to celebrate Autumn!

Butternut Squash and Mushroom Risotto

Butternut Squash and Mushroom Risotto

As always, the end result should be creamy, smooth, almost soup-like, never stiff. The squash gives a bit of sweetness to the risotto and the bacon a bit of smoke.

2/3 cup Arborio rice (or other rice specifically for risotto – Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)
1/2 cup dry, white wine
2 – 2 1/4 cups chicken stock
1 onion
1 tbs butter
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese – freshly grated (about 2oz, 60gr)

Heat chicken stock and keep hot over low heat.
Finely chop onion.
In medium saucepan heat butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté 5 minutes. Add rice and sauté stirring, for 2 – 3 minutes until rice has white center. Add white wine and stir.
Start condimenti.
When wine is almost absorbed add a 1/3 cup of stock, stir. When stock is almost absorbed add another 1/3 cup and continue adding 1/3 cup at a time and stirring. Before the last 1/3 cup taste a few kernels of rice. They should be just ‘al dente’ – slightly resistant to the tooth but fully cooked. If more stock is needed add it 2 tbs at a time and waiting until almost completely absorbed. At this point risotto will be thick but not stiff – there will still be visible liquid and it will not hold its shape on a plate. Add the Parmesan and the condimenti, stir well, pour into a bowl or risotto platter and serve immediately. It will continue to absorb liquid and the leftovers (if any) will be very stiff.


1 chicken breast, boneless, skinless
1 slice bacon
2 cups butternut squash, 8oz (250gr)
4oz (125gr) mushrooms   wild, field or forest mushrooms if possible
2 tsp olive oil

Cut the bacon into matchsticks and chicken into small pieces. Trim and slice mushrooms. Cut butternut squash into small pieces.
Heat olive oil in nonstick skillet. Add bacon and sauté until crisp, remove. Add chicken and sauté until cooked through, remove. Add mushrooms and sauté until lightly browned, remove. Add butternut squash and sauté until cooked through. Return mushrooms, bacon, chicken to skillet, cover and keep warm until needed.

week of September 24 we have Butternut Squash Soup, Veal Chops Duxelle, Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Onions….

Thyme for Cooking
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3 thoughts on “Butternut Squash and Mushroom Risotto; Menu of the Week”

  1. Thanks, Val… It will be strange not cooking for so long.
    manningroad, well, unless you have big hairy dogs and live in a construction site I wouldn’t worry ;-))

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