Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Pumpkin Risotto....For my Fellow Fall Lovers

Hi everyone!  Big news….Paisley started kindergarten this morning.


And apparently also became affiliated with a gang.

She liked it.  I’m hoping she loves it soon, but I will give it time.

So my other big news….It’s September, so I bought a case of pumpkin.  Not really a whole case, I guess, but I did get five cans.  I waited for as long as I possibly could, but I am declaring it Fall.  I can do that, right?  I put away my summer décor and got out my Fall stuff.  Plus, I had a pumpkin latte the other day.  It’s Fall.

My first pumpkin recipe is a yummy, and easy, Pumpkin Risotto.  If you have made risotto before, then you know it is slightly time consuming.  You stir and baby it for about a half and hour.  But it is still really easy.  My pumpkin risotto doesn’t have any wine in it either…..but don’t get discouraged.  There is still booze in it, but I use a pumpkin beer.  Clever, I know.

Before I get too far, you all know what risotto it, right?

This is straight from Wikipedia:

“Risotto is a class of Italian dishes of rice cooked in broth to a creamy consistency. The broth may be meat-, fish-, or vegetable-based. Many types of risotto contain Parmesan cheese, butter, and onion. It is one of the most common ways of cooking rice in Italy.”

Now that’s out of the way, let’s move on.


I used Sam Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale, Arborio rice, butter, shallots, canned pumpkin, garlic, chicken broth, olive oil and parmesan cheese.

Arborio rice is a short grain rice that is super starchy.  It is the only type of rice you should be using to make risotto.  Don’t worry, you can find it anywhere.

Also, you can use an onion if you prefer that over shallots.  I think shallots are milder so I prefer those.

The beer I used was easy to find.  I bought mine at Raley’s.  The beer was actually the inspiration for this risotto.  I saw it on the shelves and thought I might like it…..if I liked beer.  I don’t, really, but I figured this could be really yummy to cook with.  Spoiler alert:  I was right.


My first step was to chop my shallot.  I used 2 shallots.


I softened the shallot in a large skillet.  In this skillet is also olive oil and garlic.

And this:


Whoops!  This little guy totally missed the first picture.  But, I did use poultry seasoning.  Yes, I know this has no poultry of any sort in it….but it is a wonderful blend of sage, thyme, rosemary, etc.  It works perfectly in this dish.

I sprinkled my shallots with some poultry seasoning while they were getting their soft on.


Once the shallots were soft and sweaty, I added the rice.  I stirred this around and got the rice a little bit toasty too.


Next, I added half my beer and stirred.  I let this bubble away until the rice looked drier, like it had absorbed most of the liquid.  Also, if you drag a spatula across the middle, it will leave a line…for a couple of seconds.  Like so:


This is the trick to risotto.  You want to add your liquids in small amounts, like a cup or so at a time.  Then, you let it simmer until it needs more liquid stirring occasionally.  Eventually, the liquid will absorb and the rice will be cooked.  Easy peasy.


Once all the beer was absorbed, I added my pumpkin and a small amount of broth.  I had a pot of chicken broth nest to me, heating over low heat.  You just don’t want to add cold broth to you risotto.


I kept adding broth, stirring and cooking this until the rice was cooked…..about 25 to 30 minutes.


The picture here doesn’t so this justice.  The rice is cooked and it actually isn’t soupy.  That is a thick sauce made from the pumpkin and the starch of the rice.  As you slowly cook the rice, it releases all the starches and becomes thick and creamy.  But just in case it wasn’t creamy enough….I added some butter.


And parmesan cheese.


This ended up really, really good.  Like amazing good.  The beer was so much better in this then white wine ever could have been.  The beer has pumpkin, ginger, cloves, etc. in it which echo the flavors in the risotto.  Well, the pumpkin does anyway.  But the beer is just so much heartier then wine, so it really stands up to the flavors.


This was like a taste of Fall in a bowl…..a really fancy taste of Fall.  Even though risotto is easy to make, it always seems like a luxurious treat.  You should make this!  Invite some friends over….they will be impressed for sure!

See ya later this week!

Pumpkin Risotto

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 shallots, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

½ teaspoon salt

¼ to ½ teaspoon black pepper

1 cup Arborio rice

12 ounces Pumpkin beer

1 cup canned pumpkin

3 to 4 cups chicken stock (how much you use will vary), warmed on stove

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup parmesan cheese

½ In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil.  Add shallots, garlic, salt, pepper and poultry seasoning and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes.  Add rice and stir to coat in oil.  Cook rice over medium heat until translucent.

Add ½ the beer to rice and stir.  Cook until beer is absorbed and then repeat with remaining beer.  Stir in pumpkin and warm broth, about ¼ cup to ½ cup.  Stir and cook until liquid is absorbed, on medium to medium high heat.  Repeat with remaining broth, adding ¼ cup to ½ cup at a time.  After about 25 minutes, the rice will be cooked.

Add butter and parmesan cheese and stir.  Check for seasoning.

Serves 4 to 6





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