Monday, November 11, 2013

waiting for the right weekend

This weekend was dedicated to work as we had visiting students on campus Friday and Saturday. Lots of smiling, talking, moving crowds of people...basically being on. By Sunday, I was looking forward to some quiet cooking time to make a dish that has been on my list all fall - pumpkin, honey, sage risotto. With goat cheese - ahhh-mazing. This was the right weekend to make a very hearty comforting dinner!
1&1/4 cups Aborrio rice
knob of ginger, peeled and grated
small onion, chopped well
 5 cups chicken or vegetable stock, simmering
3/4 cup white wine
half can of packed pumpkin (or about 6 ounces)
2 pound Golden Nugget Squash (sometimes called Oriental Pumpkin)
2-3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons EVOO for squash
1-2 tablespoons EVOO for rice
1-2 tablespoons butter for rice
2 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
2 ounces soft goat cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice pumpkin in half and scoop out seeds. Using a sharp knife, carefully peel off skin. Chop pumpkin into small even cubes. Toss with 2 tablespoons EVOO and S&P. Assemble in an even layer on a baking tray and roast for 15 minutes. Remove and slightly toss, drizzle honey over pumpkin and return to oven for another 15 minutes. 
While pumpkin is roasting, place stock and packed pumpkin in a sauce pan over medium-low heat - warm until simmering. Place EVOO and butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. When melted, add onion and ginger - sautee for about 10 minutes. Add rice and continue to cook for another few minutes (adding a bit more EVOO if needed to prevent sticking). Pour in white wine (save some for yourself too - obviously), stir well. When wine is almost absorbed, begin adding pumpkin stock to the rice mixture, one large ladle-full at a time, continuing to stir. You will keep adding stock for about 25 minutes - always lots of stirring with risotto! When rice is at a good consistency, turn off heat. Add in a generous amount of Kosher salt and some ground pepper. Stir in goat cheese and sage. Gently fold in about half of the roasted pumpkin and reserve some to place on top of plated risotto. Taste for seasoning. Plate risotto, top with roasted pumpkin cubes and serve with fall salad (perhaps walnuts, dried cranberries & apple).

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