Here's a celebrity chef who still cooks on the line.
We've already gushed about how much we adore chef Holly Smith from Cafe Juanita in part one and part two of this week's Grillaxin Q & A. Yet -- doh! -- we neglected to mention how much we lover her amazing food. It's four star fabulous. If you don't believe us, make this risotto. Just remember, Holly prefers Carnaroli rice to Arborio. Or better yet, go to her restaurant. And don't whine about having to drive across the bridge to the Eastside.
Squash Blossom Risotto
4-6 cups chopped fresh squash blossoms. Separate bottoms from tops
1 ¼ cup raw Carnaroli rice (Italian short grain rice available from Ritrovo.com)
6 cups chicken stock ( or vegetable stock may be substituted)
¼ cup dry white wine
2 ounces Pecorino Toscano cheese
2 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano
½ pound unsalted butter (Plugra)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 Tablespoons chives, chopped
cayenne pepper, to taste
Peel and dice onion. Grate Pecorino. Set aside.
In heavy sauce pan bring stock to a simmer. In separate heavy sauce pan, on medium heat, add 3 T butter. Add onion and saute onion 3-5 minutes until soft and slightly golden. Add rice and stir to coat with wooden spoon.
Deglaze with ¼ c white wine and reserved citrus juice. Add stock, one cup at a time to rice mixture. Rice will slowly absorb liquid. After 3 cups of stock has been added, add in the blossom bottoms ( more tough), stir, taste rice for doneness. Rice should be moist, creamy and just tender. If necessary, add more liquid and cook longer. When done, remove from heat. Beat in 4oz butter. Work quickly until well incorporated.
Add squash blossom tops, Pecorino cheese and Parmigiano Reggiano. Add salt to taste. Return pan to heat to ensure the cheese is well incorporated. Stir well, taste and re-season as necessary adding a tiny amount of cayenne pepper at this time.
When serving add a drizzle of pumpkin seed oil or balsamico, if desired.