UPDATE: Giveaway has ended. The winner is Cassie @ Bake Your Day. Congrats!

Wow, that is another LONG title. I better have another giveaway since you had to read all that. It only seems fair. But we’ll talk about that in a minute. First let’s talk about this risotto. This is the sixth recipe out of Emeril’s cookbook that I’ve prepared. I’ve also made Tuscan White Bean Soup, True Bolognese, BLT Risotto, Pasta e Fagiole, and Stir-Fried Pork Salad.

I chose this recipe because:

  1. You use a slow cooker. I figured the recipe must be at least semi-easy to prepare.
  2. I thought the hearty barley and the squash would be perfect for the fall-like weather we’re having. I’m still in denial, I’m not going to call it “fall.” We’re going to stick with “fall-like” weather.
  3. I love mushrooms.
  4. I thought hubs wasn’t going to be home for dinner so I would be safe with a vegetarian dinner. Found out he was going to be, so I pulled out some leftover pulled pork from the freezer. Problem solved.
  5. The recipe calls for fresh sage. I love, love, love the smell of fresh sage.
Unfortunately, I can’t share this recipe with you, but I can give you a copy of the cookbook. Stay tuned for that. Sorry I keep mentioning the giveaway, I’m just excited–I love giveaways! However, for once I really didn’t change anything in Emeril’s recipe! And it is delicious just the way it is. The combination of the vegetables and fresh herbs is just perfect for this time of year. I was really impressed by how the barley cooked–it tastes just like “normal” risotto.
The most difficult part of this recipe was peeling the acorn squash. It isn’t even that difficult, but here are some tips to make it easier for you:
  1. Throw it (whole) in the microwave for about a minute. This softens the skin a bit and makes it easier to slice.
  2. Cut it in half, then remove the seeds. I like to use a grapefruit spoon for this step.
  3. Cut it into segments, and peel each one individually with a vegetable peeler. Try not to get your fingers or your fingernails.
  4. Then dice! Try not to wake your baby up when the knife hits the cutting board. (I failed at this step.)

Verdict: This was delicious! I loved how the squash just melted into the risotto. It made it so creamy and scrumptious–just like risotto made with rice.
Husband’s take: He liked it a lot. I wasn’t sure that he would, but he did. Of course, for him it was a side dish.
1-year-old daughter’s take: Chowed. It. Down.
Changes I would make:
Next time I think I will use butternut squash. Only because it is easier to peel…and I’m lazy.
Difficulty: Easy, once you’re done battling the squash. Just kidding–that part isn’t really that difficult either.

On to the giveaway!

UPDATE: Giveaway has ended. The winner is Cassie @ Bake Your Day. Congrats!

Here’s the Details:

-Giveaway includes one copy of Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders by Emeril Lagasse.
-Only open to US residents (Sorry!)
-Begins now and ends Thursday 9/29/11. I’ll pick a winner Friday morning.

Here’s what you have to do:

Comment on this post!

To earn extra entries (make sure to leave a separate comment for each):


1. Follow @not_rachaelray on Twitter
2. “Like” Not Rachael Ray on Facebook 
3. Subscribe to my RSS feed or add your name to my email list.
4. Tweet about this giveaway: You can use this if you want: @not_rachaelray is giving away #sizzlingskillets by @emeril! http://wp.me/p1AwA6-oy
5. Like Emeril on Facebook.
6. Follow Emeril Lagasse on Twitter.
7. Like The Secret Ingredient on Facebook.
8. Follow The Secret Ingredient on Twitter.


That’s up to 9 chances to win! Enter by Thursday night (9/29)  and I’ll choose a winner using random.org on Friday morning (9/30). Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond. Good luck!

Full disclosure: For my commitment to this blogger cooking party, I received a copy of this cookbook, as well as a set of Emeril – by zak! Table Art 7-piece Flame-Shaped Serving Bowls, and Emeril Seasoning; a $50 grocery reimbursement and Emeril cookbooks upon completion of the party. The top performing blogger, as selected by T-Fal, will be awarded an Emeril by T-Fal Slow Cooker. You will be eligible to win a copy of the cookbook, as well as the 7-piece zak! set (stick around to hear more about those two things). All opinions about the book and recipes, as always, are my own.