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Crab: Buying, Cooking, Cracking
The velvety texture of this risotto is perfectly accented with sweet hunks of crabmeat and soft cubes of butternut squash. It makes an elegant dish for company, especially on a cold winter's night. Be sure to use the best-quality crabmeat that you can find; the larger the pieces, the better.
Makes 4 servings


• 4 1/2 to 5 cups chicken stock
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
• 3/4 cup diced peeled butternut squash
• 1 1/4 cups Arborio rice
• 1/2 cup dry white wine
• 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
• 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
• 8 ounces fresh crabmeat (1 cup)
• 1/2 cup grated aged Asiago cheese, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

• Pour the chicken stock into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.

• In a large, heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the squash and saute for 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir until well coated with butter and beginning to turn translucent around the edges. Do not allow the rice to stick to the bottom of the pan.

• Add the wine and cook, stirring, until it has evaporated. Stir in the 2 teaspoons thyme, the rosemary, and 1 cup of the stock. Stir constantly until the rice has absorbed about half of the stock, then add another cup. Repeat until the squash is tender and the rice is al dente, 20 to 30 minutes. The risotto should be slightly soupy, not overly thick; the grains of rice should stick together, but not ball up.

• Remove from the heat and gently stir in the crab and the 1/2 cup grated cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Divide the risotto among warmed soup bowls. Garnish with the 2 tablespoons grated cheese and more thyme. Serve immediately.


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