Today would have been my father’s 64th birthday and we celebrated with an smashing bottle of wine and a home cooked meal based on my father’s cookbook. I met with Perrine to make sure the wine paired with the meal and she recommended adding the butternut squash and tomato confit. It made all the difference.
The butternut squash sweetened the risotto. I also added shitake mushrooms and Back to Organic Black Italian Truffle Fleur de Sel salt. It was amazing.
Risotto takes some time but your family or guests will love it. I highly recommend this meal for a special occasion.
1) Peel and dice the butternut squash. Drizzle good olive oil in a baking dish and add 2 or 3 pinches of truffle salt. Roast for 25 minutes at 400 degrees. Do not burn the edges. Turn down the temperature if it browns. Cook until tender.
2) Chop a large onion and several shiitake mushrooms. Melt 1/2 a stick of butter and sauté the onions. Add the mushrooms and cook until tender.
3) Place the chicken stock in a sauce pan and boil. Then turn to a simmer until you are ready to add the stock to the risotto.
4) Add the 1 cup of Arborio rice to the onions and stir well to cover them with the melted butter. Add 1/2 cup of dry white wine and cook until the wine is absorbed. Now add 1/2 cup of warm chicken stock. Add more chicken stock when the rice absorbs the liquid. Do not let the rice get dry and burn. Stir constantly. You will add 4 cups of chicken stock over a 25 minute period. Taste and add sea salt or truffle salt if needed.
4) When the Arborio rice is soft, add 2 tablespoons heavy cream, 1/4 cup butter and 1 to 1 1/2 cups of Parmesan. Stir well and then turn down to a simmer while you are cooking the scallops. Stir occasionally to make sure the rice does not burn.
5) Pat the scallops with a towel to remove all the water. Warm 1 tablespoon of butter in a frying pan and add scallops when the butter is bubbling. Sprinkle with truffle salt. Cook for 2 minutes then flip. The scallops should be golden brown when flipped. Cook another 2 minutes and remove.
6) Add tomato confit and the whole shiitake mushrooms to the butter you just used to cook the scallops. Cook the mushrooms to tender and warm up the tomatoes.
7) Spoon the risotto on a plate, add a scallop, some butternut squash, and one tomato confit. Sprinkle truffle salt over the top. The truffle salt really finished this meal. You will love this! Enjoy.
The wine Perrine recommended was the best wine I have ever tasted.2009 Meursault 1er Cru Genevrieres, Domaine Alain Patriarche is for a special occasion. She described the wine as “An amazing wine with tons of complexity, hints of white flowers, star anise, white truffle, yellow peach and notes of brioche. The mouth-feel is rich and creamy, with a delicate finish that is enhanced with notes of minerals.”
Perrine knew the gentlemen who made the wine and unfortunately he passed away last month unexpectedly. I know Perrine was very torn up about his passing.
Before he passed, Perrine wrote “Alain Patriarche himself is delightful, the typical french man, all he was missing that day was the French Berret, he had it all: his ‘baguette’, ‘fromages’, ‘Le Pate’ … and many, many, many bottles of ‘Vin’…The best for me was too see how passionate Alain is, how much time it took to share his passion without any pretension he kept pouring us wine saying: Oh C’est bon ca!! Le terroir. ( This is great! The Terroir!)…OH on a last note: Alain’s favorite: “Qui boit du Meursault, ne vit ni ne meurt sot!” Translated, this motto says that whoever drinks the great wines from Meursault will neither live nor die a fool. In French, it is a play on words.” So he may rest in peace a wise man.
We thought about him today. It seems many good men die at too early of an age!
Happy Birthday Dad!!!
The Ultimate Cookbook
Scallops can range in color from off-white to pale pink. Do not buy those that appear too white-they have excess water added and almost no flavor. Select scallops that smell sweet and have a moist sheen. Buy them from a seafood market that gets fresh shipments regularly. Most scallops come to the market frozen, so try not to re-freeze them; they are especially susceptible to freezer burn. Small bay scallops are sweeter and have a richer flavor than larger sea scallops. One pound of sea scallops contains about 30 pieces, while a pound of bay scallops has about 100 pieces. Use small scallops in pasta sauces, risotto, or wherever flavor is more important than size. For grilling or broiling, sea scallops are easier to handle. Pat scallops dry before you saute them so they will not “water out” in the recipe.
Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 45 minutes
4 cups broth (chicken or beef)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup Arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Bring the broth to a boil in a saucepan; reduce heat and keep at a low simmer on a back burner. Melt half of the butter in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the rice and stir rapidly until the grains are coated with butter. Add the wine and cook until it almost evaporates, stirring constantly. Add a ladle of broth (about 1/2 cup) and cook, stirring, until it has almost evaporated. (The rice should never get completely dry, but it shouldn’t be awash in liquid, either.) Add another ladle of broth, cooking and stirring until it has almost evaporated. Continue the process. When the rice is almost done (about 25 minutes) stir in the cream, then the cheese, then the remaining butter. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Yield: 4 or 5 servings