Pumpkin Part I : Pumpkins is kinda funny to say fast. Pumpkinspumpkinspumpkins
by Baby Huey
It's October, bitches! That means the scariest holiday of the year is right around the corner -- that's right, Thanksgiving with the family (insert horror shrieks here). What'd you think I was going to say?
To commemorate my favorite month of the year, every Dishful of Metal recipe for the next 5 weeks will feature pumpkin. Today we'll be adding pumpkin to an Italian comfort food. Coming weeks are going to feature pumpkin in both savory and sweet recipes. All the recipes will be easy, and delicious, or your money back.
First, I'm going to tell you how to roast a pumpkin. This will come in handy. In some cases, you can use canned pumpkin just fine, and I'll let you know that. To roast it, take a 3 pound pumpkin and cut the stem off. Cut it right down the middle and scoop out the seeds. Save those for later! Rub the cut side with some vegetable oil and place it cut-side down on a cookie sheet. Put it in a 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes. It's done when you can put a toothpick into the cut side and it goes in with not much
(to use the seeds, clean off all the seed gunk, put it on a cookie sheet and put it in a 350 degree oven for about 15 or 20 minutes, till they just start to get brown and smell nutty. Pull them out of the oven and toss them with some salt. Snacks ahoy!)
Now that you can roast a pumpkin, I'm going to teach you how to make risotto. A lot of people talk about how hard it is, but they? Are full of shit. Yeah, risotto's a little time consuming, but it's not difficult to make. The concept is always the same; substitute whatever ingredients you like, and you've got a food as comforting as mashed potatoes but without all the uncomfortable penis-insertion connotations.
* the type of rice is EXTREMELY important. The longer the grain of rice, the less starch there is in the grain. Risotto requires an extremely starchy rice. If you can't find "arborio" or "risotto" rice (and most grocery stores do carry arborio these days), sushi rice will work quite nicely. In general, you want a medium-grain rice. Never ever EVER use long grain rice.
In a small sauce pan, heat the broth over low heat till it's hot. It shouldn't be bubbling, just hot.
In 10" wide skillet (that's at least 3" deep), melt the butter over medium heat. When the butter has finished foaming and just starts to get nutty and the slightest bit brown, add the onions, celery, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the stock, about 2/3 c at a time. Stir frequently till each batch of liquid is absorbed, then repeat. Don't add the next batch until the current liquid is all absorbed.
When you've got about a cup of liquid yet, add the pumpkin and from then on, stir very gently. You don't want to break up the pumpkin. It should take you about 20 or 25 minutes to incorporate all the stock -- this is the "hard" part of making risotto. You just have to pay attention to it.
After all the liquid is incorporated, add the sage, lemon juice and parmesean. Stir gently to combine. Reseason this with salt and pepper.
Risotto is great by itself or as a side dish. Plus, everyone thinks it's so complicated, it's like the greatest date meal ever. It's comforting as hell and is sure to score you booty points.
Baby Huey's radio show, "Dead of the NIght" can be heard Tuesday evenings on WXDU, 88.7 FM, Durham, NC