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October 2007 Issue
by Ronda L. Halpin and Victoria Smith
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Pumpkin Cheese Risotto

  • 7 to 8 cups chicken stock, canned or homemade
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups Arborio rice*
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked pumpkin, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 6 fresh sage leaves, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 sage leaves for garnish
In a saucepan, heat stock to a simmer and holds at a very slow simmer.

In a large heavy bottomed saucepan next to stock, heat butter and add onion. Cook over medium heat until translucent. Add rice, stir, and add 1 1/2 cups hot stock.

Stir until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid, add another 1 1/2 cups hot stock. Repeat a third time adding pumpkin and sage. Repeat with another 1 1/2 cups hot stock and add salt and pepper to taste.

Continue to stir until most of the stock has been absorbed by the rice. After about 25 to 30 minutes, taste. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Rice should be firm but tender (al dente). Leave risotto a little runny before adding the cheese so it will have a creamy not stiff texture. Ladle into soup plates and garnish with a sage leaf.

*Arborio rice, the short-grained variety best suited for risotto, is available at Italian and specialty food stores. If you cannot find it, California pearl rice is a good substitute.

  • Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes
 

 

Baby Potatoes with Dill

  • 2 pounds small yellow boiling potatoes (about 1 inch)
  • 1/3 c. unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

Place the potatoes in a pan so they fit snugly in a single layer. Add water to come halfway up the potatoes. Add the butter and salt. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer. Cover the pan with the lid slightly ajar. This steams the potatoes, and at the same time the buttery water evaporates to a glaze.

When the potatoes are fork tender, about 15 minutes, remove the lid. If there is still a lot of water left in the pan, turn the heat up and boil it down. If there is no water left and the potatoes look greasy, add a tablespoon of water and heat to make a creamy-looking glaze. Toss with the dill and serve immediately.

  • Yields: 8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 25 minutes
 

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