Beer Risotto with Butternut Squash, Cheddar Cheese, Shrimp, and Cayenne

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I debated whether or not to add shrimp to a beer risotto with cheddar cheese. That ability which some people have to understand intuitively which flavors mesh well often fails me. But I had shrimp in the freezer, and it felt only right to rework it sooner rather than later (it was originally used for A-MAZ-ING shrimp tacos that I can take zero credit for).

Leftover beer from my brother’s continual wedding celebration.

Carrots I bought the first weekend I moved here. Yeah. Close to gross.

Squash from the farmer’s market.

Here it is. Perfect for someone who often has beer on hand but not wine. Later in the semester we’ll see how this tastes with something cheap like Rolling Rock. The only sad part about this is that, if you’re like me, you’ll be out of beer by the end.

Beer Risotto with Butternut Squash, Cheddar Cheese, Shrimp, and Cayenne

*Inspired by Cooking This and That

1/2 small onion, diced

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups Arborio rice

1 12 oz bottle of beer (I used Sierra Nevada Pale Ale)

5 cups chicken broth

1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

2 carrots, diced

2 cups diced butternut squash

1 garlic clove, diced

2 cups shrimp

1 tablespoon butter

Salt and pepper

In a saute pan, heat butter, diced garlic, and shrimp. Cook until lightly brown on each side. Set aside. Heat 5 cups chicken broth in a saucepan. In the meantime, cook onion in large saute pan with olive oil until tender. Add rice and stir until coated in olive oil. Add 1/2 cup of the chicken broth, stirring gently until the rice absorbs the liquid. Continue to add broth, stirring each time until the rice absorbs the liquid (probably should use low heat at this point).

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After most of the chicken broth is absorbed, gradually begin to add the beer and stir. Add carrots, butternut squash, and rest of broth. Stir until the rice is puffier and only has a little bit of a bite when you try it. Add cheese, cayenne pepper, and shrimp.

Serve warm. Add salt and pepper to taste.

It goes well with this song.

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