I am going to start this series by talking about Becca Fall (haha, get it? FALL meal?! Because it's fall and she is a Fall? OK, yeah, I know you got it...) and Lowell Lombardini-Parker's wedding that was on October 3rd of this year. I was lucky to be one of Becca's maids of honor and the wedding was absolutely beautiful with rich, vibrant colors and flowers that went with their harvest theme--appropriate for an October wedding.
Their wedding favors were home brewed beer made by the groom. Lowell began his brewing hobby when Becca and Lowell lived with us while their townhouse was being built in 2007. He nearly killed me when he took an empty OJ carton and filled it with bottle sanitizer (think bleach) that he used to sterilize the bottles he filled with his beer--I mistakenly thought that there was more OJ in the garage refrigerator and poured a glass of the fresh squeezed acid. I knew something was wrong when I poured out what looked like water. I took a big sniff to see what it was and nearly burned off my eyebrows and nose hairs when my nostrils were assaulted by the burning liquid. It was a small price to pay for the many nights that Kyle and I got to be quality controllers for Lowell and taste his unique and delicious brews like kiwi beer, winter ale and his many different IPAs.
Lowell made a harvest IPA and a lager; Becca made these adorable labels that highlighted their festive wedding colors.
Rather than drinking our favors at our after party (thanks again Carmen and Jamie for allowing us to use your presidential suite!), Kyle and I decided to make a warm, fall inspired meal to go with our autumn beer: butternut squash and shrimp risotto. I got this recipe from Bon Appetit; if you have never read this magazine and consider yourself a food lover--shame on you (just kidding!). Seriously though, it is worth the subscription just to look at the photos of food. They also have a whole section of recipes that are relatively quick and simple--this is one of those recipes. It is one of my all time favorite dishes and I highly recommend it!
3 ounces pancetta (Italian bacon), chopped
1 pound large uncooked deveined peeled shrimp
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 3/4 cups)
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 cup short-grain rice (such as arborio or carnaroli)
4 cups vegetable broth, heated in microwave
1 1-pound package peeled butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1/4 cup whipping cream
Sauté pancetta in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat until fat renders and pancetta is browned and almost crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer to medium bowl. Sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper; add to saucepan. Sauté until browned and just opaque in center, about 3 minutes. Add to bowl with pancetta. Add oil to same saucepan, then onion and garlic; cook until onion is translucent, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add rice; stir 1 minute. Add hot broth; increase heat and bring to boil. Add squash and sage; reduce heat to medium and simmer until rice is tender but still firm to bite and mixture is creamy, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Stir in cream, shrimp, and pancetta. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to large shallow bowl.
And it's not even that bad for you:
One serving contains the following: Calories (kcal) 358.9%Calories from Fat 32.6Fat (g) 13.0Saturated Fat (g) 4.9Cholesterol (mg) 176.6Carbohydrates (g) 36.0Dietary Fiber (g) 3.1Total Sugars (g) 5.2Net Carbs (g) 32.9Protein (g) 24.2
Congrats Becca and Lowell!