Have you ever seen TV show Hell’s Kitchen?
This year. All 14 seasons. But first I saw the last season – I had never even heard of this show before. Then I decided to watch the remaining seasons. I would not have been Ben if I had done this in any other (read: normal) way. Sure I did it in the reverse order: the 13, 12, and so on seasons.
Needless to say, this approach meant I had already known the winner of the season I just started to watch. Well, I’m lying to you. I’ve got horrible memory. That’s why having watched a few episodes of each season I always read Wikipedia’s articles. Why? I needed to know the names of my favorites!
It’s a lovely show, indeed. Yup, it’s still the show with all its ostentatious drama and fake emotions, but I loved it. And Gordon Ramsay!
Besides, I’ve learned a few significant things about the contestants.
- Being a chef means you’ve got to swear. What a stressful job, eh? But really, I’ve seen just a very few contestants who didn’t curse at all or did it moderately. Some folks did that so eloquently that you can include them as the examples in modern oratory textbooks.
- Scallops are the most complicated produce to work with. You can be a prominent chef with 28,5 years of experience, but you still can screw your scallops. Again and again. You will never see any scallops on this blog, guys!
- People either didn’t watch the previous seasons or were asked to make the same mistakes on purpose. But common, you are cooking on Ramsay’s show so there are some NO-NO-NO. Dessert as your signature dish? Wake up, dude! Gordon isn’t looking for a pastry chef! Your mom’s recipe as a signature dish? That’s even worse than a dessert. Pasta from the package? You’ve got a lot of time (30 minutes), and you didn’t manage to make fresh pasta? That’s just offensive! Canned tomatoes? Oh dude, you just totally screwed yourself.
There’s another dish that always makes the contestant’s lives miserable. It’s risotto. Seriously, most of the chefs, even really experienced, at least once have struggled with their risotto.
I don’t judge them, though. Professional kitchen and ongoing stress are not the easiest things to deal with. Besides, even though they’re quite specific formulas how to cook the good risotto, you still have got to feel it.
I think I wouldn’t have felt embarrassed for this Butternut Squash Risotto if Gordon had tried it. First of all, it’s not a dessert haha. Next, it was seasoned nicely and cooked well. I mean, creamy, dreamy, and so on. Besides, I incorporated homemade pumpkin puree (I won’t judge you for using a canned one, though). It was simply delicious too cause sage and pancetta make any risotto better, right? And finally, I didn’t add any lavender. Such a crucial point. It was so tempting, but I was strong. Pumpkin and lavender sound slightly peculiar even to me. And Ramsey would haven’t appreciated such a combo. I guess, Andrey would haven’t either.
But if seriously, this Butternut Squash Risotto is the perfect comfort fall/winter meal. You should make it. Right now, between those trays of the cookies you’re baking (Yes, I know that!)
But before I let you go, I’ve got to ask what’s your favorite food show. What’s your favorite risotto? Would you try lavender risotto? (Great idea, indeed).
This creamy rich Butternut Squash Risotto with pancetta and sage is the perfect comfort fall dish for a cold time of the year.
- 1 cup risotto rice
- 3 cups +- hot vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup cooking wine
- 150 gr pancetta, cubed
- 1/2 cup white onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2-3 tablespoons butter
- 1,5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- 1,5-2 cups pumpkin puree
- handful of fresh sage
- Heat 1,5 tablespoons olive oil and 0,5 tablespoon butter and cook the onions, garlic and pancetta, not allowing the onions and garlic turn golden, 4-5 minutes.
- Increase heat and stir in the rice. Cook for a minute then pour the wine and let the alcohol to evaporate for a minute.
- Start gradually adding the stock - 1/3 cup at once. As soon as the previously added liquid has been absorbed, add more stock, regularly stirring the risotto. It will take for about 12-15 minutes to use up all the stock.
- When the rice is almost ready, add the pumpkin pure (you may not need to add the last part of the stock - watch the consistency), sage, and salt and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
- Off the heat.Stir in the remaining butter and the parmesan. Vigorously mix for a few seconds. Cover and leave to rest for 2-3 minutes.