Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Butternut squash risotto in a rice cooker

This is a lovely warming recipe perfect for Autumn...no standing over the stove top stirring this risotto - it's easy to do in your Zojirushi rice cooker! This is to be made in 5.5 cup or 10 cup cooker. Serves 4-5 people.

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2/3 cup of finely chopped yellow onion
1 cup plus 2 tbsp of medium grain risotto rice (superfine Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone nano)
1 ¾ to 2 cups seeded and peeled butternut squash, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 ½ cups water
1 ½ cups stock

2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 tbsp lime juice
¼ cup fresh minced Italian parsley leaves
¼ cup freshly grated Parmasan cheese, plus more for serving
Salt to taste

You can also add diced courgette/zucchini, the flavour combines well with the butternut squash.


1.    Set the rice cooker for Quick Cook or regular cycle. Place olive oil and butter in the rice cooker bowl. When the butter melts add the onion, cook stirring a few times until softened – about 2 minutes. Add rice and stir with plastic rice spatula to coat the grains with hot butter. Cook, stirring a few times until the grains of rice are transparent except for a spot of white on each one – about 3-5 minutes. Add the squash, water and stock and stir to combine. Close the cover and reset for the porridge cycle (it will take around 20 minutes to cook).
2.    When the machine switches to keep warm, stir the risotto. There should only be a bit of liquid and the rice should be al dente - i.e. tender with a touch of resistance. If needed cook for a few minutes longer. This risotto will keep on the keep warm setting for an hour, any longer it will thicken considerably.
3.    When ready to serve add the butter, close the cover for a while to allow the butter to melt. Stir in lime juice, parsley, cheese and salt to taste and serve immediately.

Ginger chilli chicken

This is a 'made up by us' recipe, an experiment which turned out really well. A tasty blend of ginger and sweet chilli which goes perfectly with rice.

Finely chop two fingers worth of ginger, crush two cloves of garlic and deseed one or two birds eye chillis (depending on how hot you like it!). Stir fry this in a pan until the flavours start to release and then add the chicken. Keep oil to the minimum and just add spoonfuls of chicken stock to the pan/wok to stop it from sticking. 

Once the chicken is sealed add peppers, carrots, green beans, baby sweetcorn and other veg you may like and stir fry until cooked. Keep adding bits of chicken stock. 

When cooked, add enough chicken stock to make a sauce into the pan/wok. Season the sauce with a splash of soya sauce, black pepper, salt. Add a spoon on sugar and a spoon of honey - we also add some Thai sweet chilli sauce at this point too. Taste to see if the seasoning is correct and adjust accordingly. Thicken sauce with cornflour mixed with water.

Serve with fluffy rice from your Zojirushi.