Monday, October 31, 2011

Pumpkin and Bacon Risotto

Happy Monday!  Hope everyone had a nice weekend.

When it comes to posting recipes, I'm often stuck trying to decide what to cook and how to put my spin on it......

One of my many folders of recipe ideas for things to prepare.....I.can't.stop.printing!!!!

So much so, its mind boggling.  Usually at that point, I close my folders and shut my books and search through my own recipe box (aka my brain) and come up with something on my own.

This was one of those creations.

Here was my thought......I want to make something with pumpkin....and not just something sweet....but what?

And I immediately thought of risotto. That cheesy dish warms me to my soul. And bacon....mmmmm....the smell alone is why I wanted to have my own I can fry it anytime I want and have that be my air freshener.  What would you call that exactly?  Smoky salty fried bacon glory.

Yeah, I like that.  Sounds better than warm vanilla sugar or apple cinnamon right??? ;)

I must admit it took me a few days (umm...five to be exact) to actually make the dish from when I first came up with this idea. My inner perfectionist wanted to make sure I made it "right" (aka edible, beautiful and just the right amount of all the know, like Mary Poppins, "practically perfect in every way") while my inner fear monster told me I couldn't do it and I would fail if I tried (and it would be nasty, inedible, and I was an awful chef).

I don't have any extremes at all do I?

But I after I did my "research" aka seeing more recipes and blog posts about various versions of pumpkin pasta, I figured it was time to actually attempt it myself.

It turned out lovely.

Truth be told, I was a little freaked by the prospect of cooking with pumpkin in something other than a sweet bread or cake or cookie. I am not a big fan of the taste of pumpkin by itself so I was kinda nervous.

But, this was a bacon-y and cheesy surprise.  I will definitely make it again.

Don't be afraid of risotto either.  I know it takes some time to stir...but to me, its gloriously calming to do that.  I know that some people have had luck with baking their rice, but not me.  My rice has always become a sticky, burned mess (maybe I'm not adept with my oven as much as I'd like to think I am).  It only takes 20 minutes or so to make...and the taste was well worth it.

I'll have some quicker recipes to post later on.  But, this one is a winner.  My job now is get 1-2 to eat it....he's a little spooked with this orange hue (could be he doesn't like anything orange because it reminds him of this team or this one)......Go Cocks! 

What did you do this weekend?  Anything fun?  And what will you do tonight?  

Happy Halloween!
See ya'll soon~

Pumpkin and Bacon Risotto

Print this recipe!

4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
2 cups arborio rice
5 oz bacon, diced into small pieces
1/3 cup chopped onions
1 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup pumpkin puree

1.  Heat large skillet over medium heat.  Add chopped bacon and cook for 3-5 minutes until bacon grease has been released and bacon is almost done.  Add in chopped onions and cook 1-2 minutes more until onions are translucent.
2.  Meanwhile, heat water/chicken broth combo over low heat in a large saucepan.
3.  Once onions are cooked, add rice in with onions, bacon, and grease and stir until all rice grains are covered with grease.  Let grains toast 1 minute or so before adding liquid.
4.  Add in 1 cup of liquid and stir gently until liquid is absorbed.  After liquid is gone, add in 1/2 to 3/4 cup of liquid and stir again, allowing rice to soak up broth.  Continue this step until all liquid is absorbed and rice grains are soft, about 20-23 minutes.
5.  Cut off heat and stir in pumpkin and 1/2 of cheese.  Mix until pumpkin is combined.  Add in rest of cheese and stir until cheese is all melted.
6.  Spoon into bowls and serve.

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