…stirring constantly

One of my goals this year is to try new recipes.  Not just alternative recipes for things I already make.  No, I mean completely new.  Sometimes one new recipe leads to another, as in today’s story.

Hubby and I don’t like vegetables very much.  (We can’t be the only ones, right?)  We try.  We know they’re packed with vitamins, blah, blah, blah.  So this winter we’ve had sweet potato oven fries, black bean and sweet potato soup, butternut squash, and steamed snow peas–to name a few.  We’ve been trying things even if we don’t think we’ll like them.  Savory butternut squash–roasted with olive oil, coarse salt, and fresh-ground black pepper–was a pleasant surprise.  Anyway, we recently bought a kabocha squash at our Asian market.  And we didn’t like it.  We ate the first half and left the second half in the fridge, labeled with a big, imaginary “?!” sign.  What were we going to do?!

Throwing away food is not an option.  (Unless it has mold on it or something.)  So I visited the internet in search of a recipe that would absorb that unappealing produce.  I found one!  I wanted to link it for you, but it’s lost from my bookmarks.  Oops.  Let’s just charge ahead.  I modified the recipe for my own purposes anyway.  The original called for scads of mushrooms, which Hubby hates.

When I have a loose-leaf recipe, I always use sticky-tack to hold it to a cupboard door.  That way it’s always in sight and doesn’t get ingredients smeared on it.

The ingredients for this recipe were mostly things I had on hand.

First I cooked an onion, some minced garlic, and a pinch of thyme in olive oil.  Then I added the dry rice and cooked it, stirring constantly, for about 8 minutes.

Next came many additions of broth.  I used 4 cups, added one at a time, but I think I could have used more.  The recipe said 4-5 cups.

While the rice got busy soaking up broth, I left it unstirred–shocking, I know–while I attended to other tasks, like chopping the squash…

…and cooking the bacon.  Mmmm….  Around here we like to cook our bacon in the oven.  We prop a cooling rack on a baking sheet, drape the pieces across, and “fry” at 400 for 15 minutes or so.  Depends on how much bacon and how crispy it needs to be.  For this, I was thinkin’ brown and crumbly.

When the fourth cup of broth was absorbed I added 1/2 cup of vermouth and cooked it off a while.  Then, in went everything else: squash, bacon, and 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese.

Served with a little more Parmesan on top, this was a winter meal for sure!

And, though we tried, we still didn’t like the squash.  What should we add next time?

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