August 02, 2013

Crab & Pattypan Squash Cajun Risotto



Ingredients:
5 1/4 cups chicken or crab stock
2 pattypan squash, cubed (about 4 cups)
3 cups blue crab meat
1 onion, diced
2 Cajun Belle peppers, minced
1 (large) clove garlic
2 cups Arborio rice
1/3 cup Parmesan, grated
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


Directions:
In a saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer. Heat oil and butter in a large saucepan. Saute the onion, pepper, garlic and squash until softened. Add the rice and spices and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring continually. Add the broth a 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, and waiting until the liquid is absorbed before each addition. When the risotto is creamy and the rice is al dente remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan and crab.




My thoughts:
We had the unthinkable happen last weekend. We picked crabs and we had some crabs leftover. We try to get just enough but they were so meaty (a good problem to have!) that we couldn't finish them so we just picked the leftovers and saved the crabmeat for later. I didn't know what to do with it at first but I saw we had some Cajun Belle peppers (they look like regular bell peppers but smaller and spicy) ripe in the garden and some squash in the fridge and I thought I'd make a summery, spicy risotto.

Pattypan squash always strike me as an underrecognized sign of summer. I can get zucchini and yellow squash (sadly, not crookneck) year-round but it is only in the summer I can find pattypan. Not only does it have a fun shape, it seems a little less watery (to me, anyway) and more sturdy than zucchini. It is perfect for risotto! It kept the perfect texture even throughout all of the stirring and rice cooking.

I was extremely pleased with how it turned out, nothing overpowered the crab and there were big meaty chunks throughout. I kind of want to get more crabs and hope for leftovers!

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