The Breukelen Life

The Breukelen Life

Food, Yoga and Travel in Brooklyn

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Pumpkin Part 1

November 1, 2012 , ,

I am not short of things to make with this pumpkin. The NYtimes helped with their tribute to the orange goddess and Sandy only fueled my motivation, giving me plenty of time to think, contemplate and get my toosh in the kitchen. I jump-started this extravaganza with pumpkin risotto on Sunday night.

My dinner date enjoyed it. I found it a bit too sweet but, as I mix in a bit of egg, a bit more cheese and fry in a bit of olive oil, I find it just right.

I’ve adapted the recipe quite a bit from the original, which you can see here. I found I needed significantly less liquid, only using about 3 cups of chicken broth. Pumpkin is watery which affected the consistency. Add liquid slowly and carefully. Begin tasting after the 3 or 4th addition to be safe.

What have you been cooking up in the storm?

• 5 cups 1-inch cubes pumpkin flesh
• 6 tablespoons butter or olive oil
• 1 large or 2 medium onions, diced
• 2-3 cloves minced garlic
• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage or rosemary
• 1 1/2 cups arborio or other short-grain rice
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1/2 cup dry white wine
• 4 to 6 cups chicken, beef or vegetable stock
• 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
• 1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
PREPARATION

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Cut pumpkin into quarters. Scrape out pith and seeds. Reserve seeds for roasting.

3. Let pumpkin cool slightly. Cube and purée until smooth in a blender or food processor. Set aside.

4. Toss seeds with pumpkin and sea salt. Roast for 10-15 minutes until crunchy.

5. Put 2 tablespoons butter or oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the onions and cook until they soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, nutmeg and herbs, and continue cooking another minute or so; do not brown.

6. Add 2 tablespoons butter or oil; raise the heat to medium-high and add the rice. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it is glossy and coated, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; stir in the wine and let most of it bubble away.

7. Begin adding the pumpkin purée and stock alternately, 1/2 cup or so at a time, continuously stirring until all liquid is absorbed. When the liquid is just about evaporated, add more; the consistency should not be soupy or dry.

8. Taste the rice about 20 minutes after you add it. You want it to be tender but still have some crunch; this can take up to 30 minutes. When the rice is done, turn off the heat and stir in the remaining butter or oil and Parmesan; taste and adjust the seasoning. Heat a dry skillet and add the nuts; toast until fragrant. Sprinkle the risotto with toasted nuts and more freshly grated Parmesan; serve.

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