BenGusto™ Buddy Cooking Class Starts “Risotto Strong”

The first BenGusto™ Buddy Cooking Class of the 2014-2015 school year started off with a bang! Seven members from our school’s Best Buddies program, a program dedicated to establishing one-to-one friendships for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, joined together last Thursday in the kitchen to learn how to cook an Italian classic: risotto.

Buddy Cooking Class-Dinner Together

The focus of our lesson was on “earthy autumn vegetables”. We used squash in our risotto, and roasted brussel sprouts (see the BenGusto™ recipe for Roasted Brussel Sprouts) as our side dish. Katie, a new member of the cooking class, peeled a beet as well, but we, unfortunately did not have time to make our “beet slaw”.

Halle and Katie hold up their hands, red with beet and orange with squash.

Halle and Katie hold up their hands, red with beet and orange with squash.

Patrick, my buddy, and I season brussel sprouts.

Patrick, my buddy, and I season brussel sprouts.

Andrew and I discuss the flavor boost using fresh pepper provides.

Andrew and I discuss the flavor boost that fresh pepper provides.

At the end of the lesson, we all sat down for a family meal. A good start to a great year!

We’d like to share the BenGusto™ recipe (see below for steps on how to make the risotto) we learned for butternut squash risotto! It was a big hit at the dinner table, and it didn’t take long to make. I will post the recipe in an official “recipe blog post” in the near future, once I get some good pictures of the dish, and measurements of the ingredients.

Halle peels the butternut squash.

Halle peels the butternut squash.

 

CJ and I season the squash. CJ sprinkles thyme, as I add more cubes of squash to be roasted.

CJ and I season the squash. CJ sprinkles thyme, as I add more cubes of squash to be roasted.

Butternut Squash Risotto with Saffron Steps:

(for 8 people) (requires 20 minutes)

1. Heat thinly sliced shallots and red pepper flakes in a large pot over low heat, with enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan.

Halle minces garlic using a press. The garlic is placed in the pot to add flavor to the oil, red pepper flakes, and shallots.

Halle minces garlic using a press. The garlic is placed in the pot to add flavor to the oil, red pepper flakes, and shallots.

2. Place about 750 g of dry rice in the hot oil and let cook over medium-high heat for a minute. Stir.

Patrick pours the rice in the pot.

Patrick pours the rice in the pot.

3. Add about 3/4 cup of dry white wine, and let rice cook in wine for a few minutes. Continue to stir. Add saffron.

Andrew adds the saffron. We spent a while praising the "golden threads" before putting them in.

Andrew adds the saffron. We spent a while praising the “golden threads” before putting them in.

4. Add chicken broth. Continue to add chicken broth while risotto simmers, reaching right consistency. About 10-12 minutes. Add salt to taste.

5. At the end, add roasted butternut squash, parmigiano, thyme, and butter to make creamy. Buon appetito!

CJ adds roasted butternut squash.

CJ adds roasted butternut squash.

Chefs Halle, Kirsten, and Katie set the table for a post-lesson dinner.

Chefs Halle, Kirsten, and Katie set the table for a post-lesson dinner.

Buddy Cooking Class-Dinner Together

 

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