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Welcome to Gardens to Tables Recipes Main Courses Harvest Apple, Chanterelle & Squash Risotto from Morgan's in the desert
Harvest Apple, Chanterelle & Squash Risotto from Morgan's in the desert Print E-mail
Written by Ann Shepphird   

Chef Jimmy SchmidtIt's that time of year: time for the holidays, for fall produce at its peak and for the "season" to get under way out in the Southern California desert. A top hideaway since the 1920s (when Frank Capra wrote screenplays from a bungalow that still bears his name), La Quinta Resort & Club last year added the Morgan's in the desert restaurant. Morgan's Executive Chef Jimmy Schmidt (right) specializes in finding and using the best in seasonal ingredients for his menus -- and was kind enough to share this fabulous risotto recipe with us.

Harvest Apple, Chanterelle & Squash Risotto

Makes 4 servings
Prep Time 30 Minutes - Cook Time 30 Minutes
4 cups diced butternut squash
3 cups chanterelles, brushed cleaned (do not rinse with water) and torn into quarters
6 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 cups of fresh apple cider
1/4 cup sliced fresh ginger root        
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 cups Violone Nano or Arborio rice
1 tablespoon mild smoked paprika
2 cups dry “J” Pinot Gris white wine
4 tablespoons fresh chives
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup aged finely ground Parmesan cheese
2 cups Honey Crisp apples, cut into fine julienne
2 tablespoons fresh sage leaf, cut fine into chiffonade
2 tablespoons hazelnut oil (substitute olive oil)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. (Click "read more" for rest of recipe.)

Lay a very large sheet of aluminum foil on your countertop. In a medium bowl combine the squash, mushrooms, 1/4 cup of olive oil and season generously with sea salt and black pepper.  Transfer the squash mixture to the lower half of the foil.  Fold the upper section of foil over, crimping the edges to seal into a pouch.  Transfer to a cookie sheet and place on the middle rack of the oven.  Cook until tender about 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly without opening the pouch.

Meanwhile bring the apple cider and ginger to a simmer over medium heat.  Keep warm.

In a large saucepan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots cooking until softened but not browned, about 2 minutes.  Add the rice and cook until warm to the back of the hand, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the paprika.  Add the white wine to the rice and allow to evaporate. Add 1 cup of the hot cider and bring to a simmer stirring frequently.  Add salt and pepper to your taste.  Cook the rice until the liquid has reduced to coat the rice, about 6 minutes.  Add about 1/2 cup of the cider and allow to reduce and coat the rice, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Repeat adding and reducing small amounts of the hot cider, until the rice becomes quite creamy yet still al dente (firm to the bite) and all the liquid is just about used.  Add the last of the cider cooking until creamy and thickened.  Stir in the squash and mushrooms, allowing the juices to cook down only if necessary.  Adjust the seasoning to your taste.  Remove from the heat.  Stir in half of the chives, the butter and Parmesan cheese.  Spoon immediately into warm rimmed soup bowls or plates.  

In a small bowl combine the apple, sage, remaining chives and hazelnut oil.  Season with a little salt and pepper. Divide and place a small mound atop the center of the risotto.  Serve immediately.

© Jimmy Schmidt, Executive Chef of Morgan’s in the desert, La Quinta, California

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