Snazzy Birthday Dinner!

Now as anyone who reads this blog knows by now, food is pretty important around here.  So, naturally, we pull out all of the stops around birthdays, holidays and other special occasions.  I had been muttering about fall themed risotto dishes – sweet potato and pumpkin, of course – so Mama Cheater Bite pulled out this showstopper recipe to pair with the amazing scallops we found at Restaurant Depot earlier in the month.

The whole idea is to treat the potatoes like rice and cook them using the risotto technique, resulting in a delicious dish with wonderful texture.  Cutting the potatoes is a ton of work (thanks Dad!), but is surely worth the effort, though I wouldn’t recommend this dish for a weeknight dinner, unless you have some extra time and energy.  Using a mandoline definitely eases the process a bit, instead of doing everything by hand.

Sweet Potato Risotto:
4 large sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
4 shallots, finely diced
2 to 3 cups hot chicken stock
salt & freshly ground pepper

Fill a medium bowl with cold water.  Using a mandolin or by hand, cut the potatoes into 1/8-inch julienne.  Working in batches stack the strips, align the edges, and cut into cubes a little larger than rice grains (yes, rice grains).  Transfer the cubes to the cold water as you work

Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and swirl to coat the bottom.  Add the shallots and sauté, stirring until the liquid is absorbed.  Add more stock and continue to cook and stir, allowing each addition of stock to be absorbed before adding the next, until the potatoes are cooked through and creamy, 15 to 20 minutes.  Do not allow the potatoes to become mushy.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in the remaining butter.

Serves: 4
Time: 40 minutes
From: Ming Tsai’s Blue Ginger

We served the risotto beneath steamed green beans, sautéed mushrooms and perfectly grilled scallops.  It. was. awesome.

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