14 October 2010 § Leave a comment
King Marv and I took The Ladies™ to the Catskill Corn Maze on Columbus Day.
This maze is ginormous, 16 acres in fact. Entitled “D.C. Money Grab”, the professionally designed maze (who knew there was such a job?) depicts the two major political parties in a tug of war against the Capitol with dollars flying out of it.
Even more impressive was the actual setting for the maze – it was picture postcard bucolic to say the least – sun shining against a backdrop of autumnal trees, with the red farmhouse in the background. At lunch we picnicked until a swarm of dozy autumnal wasps sent us running for the car. After that, we picked pumpkins from their vines – an event which saw the otherwise office-bound King Marv toil with the earth. The only real downside of the day was trying to get The Ladies™ to leave the maze at dusk as the Fall sun set on a wonderful day, but we did leave with some beautiful pastel colored eggs from the farm’s Araucana hens.
Of course, after all the running about in the fresh air and chasing the girls through the maze, we all needed something hearty and filling. So armed with an acorn squash and some local Gouda cheese (both from Pakatakan Farmers Market) – a delightful round barn near Roxbury, I set about making a squash risotto. This recipe is inspired by a squash risotto I saw featured on Baristanet from my favorite Montclair restaurant, Osteria Giotto. I adapted it slightly as I did not have the exact ingredients. Regardless the end result was good, King Marv and I loved it, The Ladies™ were not quite so keen but they still managed to put away a generous helping.
Acorn Squash Risotto
1 acorn squash
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Freshly grated nutmeg
Handful of chopped basil or parsley
2 cups Arborio rice
5 cups stock (vegetable or chicken)
1 cup of cheese (Parmesan would be best, but I used an aged Gouda made from raw milk from Byebrook farm)
A few small pieces of butter
Sprinkle the chopped squash with salt and the sugar, toss in olive oil then cook in the oven at 385°F until soft – about 30-40 minutes. Fry the onion and carrot in olive oil for about 5 minutes, add the crushed garlic and fry for another 2 minutes. Add the rice and fry for another minute or so, add nutmeg. Add a ladle of hot stock and when absorbed slowly add another cup. After cooking for about 5 minutes, add the squash (squish with a fork first), then when the stock has been absorbed continue to add more stock (one cup at a time) stirring constantly. After about 20 or so minutes, and when all the stock is absorbed, the rice should be ready – soft but not soggy. Season. Then add some grated cheese and some butter. Serve immediately. I also added some basil, but parsley would work well.