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Entries in risotto (2)


Roasted Pumpkin or Butternut Squash Risotto


Well peeling, seeding and dicing a pumpkin isn’t the easiest thing to do.  In fact it’s a slippery, messy, time consuming process and frankly I don’t think I’ll ever do it again.  There’s a bunch of recipes out there that call for peeled, seeded and cubed pumpkin or squash and now I understand why.  A squash is a whole lot easier to handle than a gourd-like pumpkin.  I’m not going to pretend, while this was delicious and (the texture of the pumpkin was firmer than a squash) next time I think I’ll stick with a butternut squash and leave the pumpkin for carving.  Oh, and there’s absolutely no way I would puree a fresh pumpkin for pie or cheesecake.  I’ll just open up a can and be done with it…thank you very much…and sorry to all the pumpkin purists out there!


Serves 2 as a main course, 4 as an appitizer 


1 small “pie” pumpkin about 2 ½ lbs, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes (or 1 2lb butternut squash – if you want to save yourself a bunch of hassle!)


Light brown sugar

Olive oil

1 large shallot, minced

1 cup Arborio rice

½ cup white wine

2-3 cups chicken stock


Preheat oven to 425°F.

Spread pumpkin cubes out on a large baking tray lined with parchment paper.  Drizzle with olive oil, and then sprinkle with cumin and brown sugar.  Roasted for 15 minutes, until tender.  Set aside.

Sauté shallots in a large saucepan until softened over medium heat.  Stir in rice and cook for a few minutes to “toast” the grains.  Add wine and cook until reduced.  Slowly add stock and stir until the rice absorbs the liquid.  Add additional stock as needed until the rice grains are tender outside, and firm inside (al dente).  Add pumpkin, and stir in Parmesan cheese.  The risotto should be on the creamy side, not dry.  This should all take about 15 minutes.  


Chicken "Risotto" - One Nights Leftovers The Next Night's Main Course!


That’s right and it has to be a first...having leftovers left that is...not eating chicken.  The other night we had roasted chicken, rice and gravy with roasted carrots and steamed broccoli.  So last night we had roasted chicken “risotto” with roasted carrots and broccoli.  I’m using “ ” for the “risotto” since I’m not cooking it in a traditional slow and constant stirring manner.

I used the leftover chicken stock (from the roasting pan) and the leftover gravy...all that makes the “risotto” on the wetter side of the lava consistency you look for in “proper” risotto.  Plus I’m not painstakingly tending to my risotto constantly stirring it.  I’m pretty much throwing it all in and keeping my eye on it.

So it’s really chicken, rice and gravy all mixed up together and dressed up with a fancier name than...leftovers.  It works and it’s easy! 


Serves 4-6

2 cups Arborio rice

2 ½ cups chicken stock (plus a little bit more)

2 cups chicken gravy

2 ½ cups leftover roasted chicken, cut into large pieces

1 cup roasted carrots, diced

1 cup steamed broccoli, diced

½ medium onion, diced

½ cup white wine

Olive oil

Juice of ½ lemon

Whipping cream (optional)

Grated Parmesan cheese

Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until the pieces brown around the edges.  Add the rice and wine; cook until the wine is absorbed.  Reduce heat to low, add stock and cook until it’s almost all absorbed, stirring to prevent sticking.  Add the gravy continue cooking until the rice is tender.  Add chicken, broccoli, and carrots; continue cooking on low until everything is heated through.  Add lemon juice last and stir.   If the “risotto” is dry, add more stock or a little cream.  Serve with grated Parmesan