And I Can Cook, Too

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Hotel Next Door
Jan. 20, 2006
Tired of slumming it at Kona Village Resort, one of my husbands’ business associates invited us to dine with he and his wife at the hotel next door. Had the hotel been any other than the Four Seasons we would have declined, but, well, it was the Four Seasons.

The oceanfront Pahu i’a restaurant at the Four Seasons is known for giving non-hotel guests the cheap seats in the back of the room, so we were surprised and pleased to be seated at a prime oceanfront table. As we sipped our wine, we enjoyed the view of whales breaching through the sunset.

After pupus (appetizers) of Pan-Seared Crab Cake with Sweet Corn-Vanilla Sauce and Seared Foie Gras with Caramel Fruit Chutney, I was served the highlight of the evening: Truffle-Butternut Squash Risotto with Wild Mushrooms and Shaved Parmesan. Had we been in different company I would have fallen off my chair. As it was it was hard to keep from moaning. The complimenting sweetness of the squash and earthiness of the truffles and mushrooms was downright aphrodisiacal.

Truffle Butternut Squash Risotto with Wild Mushrooms and Parmesan
1 ½ qt Chicken Broth
3 tbsp Olive Oil
1 medium Sweet Onion, finely diced
8 oz fresh Wild Mushrooms, sliced
1 cup Dry White Wine
1 14oz box Arborio Rice
1 Butternut Squash, peeled finely diced
1 1/2oz Parmesan Regiano, grated
1/2oz Parmesan Regiano, shaved
1 Black Truffle, for shaving (omit if unavailable)
2 tbsp butter
1-1/2 tbsp Truffle Oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh parsley, for garnish

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet. Sauté butternut squash for five minutes. Add onions and mushrooms and sauté until soft. Add butter and Arborio rice and stir to coat rice with stir. Add wine, and, stirring, allow the wine to reduce until the pan is almost dry. Add truffle shavings. One cup at a time, add chicken broth into risotto, stirring continually in between ladles and allowing broth to reduce down before the next addition. Continue until all chicken broth is added. Stir in grated Parmesan, truffle oil and salt and pepper, to taste. Top with chopped parsley and shaved Parmasan.

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