It was around this same time last year that I made my Moroccan Pumpkin Soup and that’s also the time when the pie pumpkins showed up in my local store. That soup was inspired by Steve, my coworker who has since left us to join the great wild beyond…in Mexico. He has retired, officially, and he and his wife found a land far far away..well not too, too far away, to call home. He spends his days now reading, and partaking in spirits, not the “boo” kind either. They sold both of their vehicles and now get around in “YOU-bers” as Steve refers to them. Oh…..Steve.
So here we are, a year later and my pumpkins have arrived. The weather is turning chilly-er (for Georgia that is) and I’m feeling a hankering for risotto. I made some not too long back for my other half with some big ol’ scallops, and so that dish inspired this dish, as well as Steve. For this recipe I’m going to bake off a couple of pie pumpkins and use only about 1/2 cup of one to make some Fall deliciousness called “Pumpkin Risotto.” Below you’ll find detailed instructions on making a classic risotto which is basically stir, stir, stir, and then stir some more, until the rice becomes a creamy dreamy centerpiece worthy entree. Enjoy!:)
Pumpkin Risotto W/ Seared Scallops
*1/2 (Heaping) Cup Baked Fresh Pumpkin
*3 Tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
*8 oz. Cremini Mushrooms, sliced
(This is a short vid of the mushrooms liquid cooking out)
*2 Shallots, chopped
*3/4 Cup Arborio Rice
*1/2 Cup White Wine
*1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
*4 Cups Vegetable Stock
*1/2 Parmesan Cheese, grated
(This is what the mushrooms should look like once they are done cooking and released all their liquid)
*1/3 Cup Heavy Cream
*2 Tablespoons Butter
*Salt and freshly ground pepper, TT
Obviously, I use fresh pumpkin for this recipe but you can substitute canned pumpkin in a pinch. Since I’m only using a small amount of the pumpkin(s), I use the remaining flesh to make my Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Moroccan Spice that you’ll find here. I’ve got detailed instructions on how to roast the pumpkins here.
In a small saucepan,heat the stock to boiling and then keep warm on the burner. In a large skillet add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add in sliced mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are browned and have released their liquids and the liquid has reduced out, 8-10 minutes. Remove mushrooms to side and add remaining 2 T olive oil. Add chopped shallots and stir on medium heat and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add in rice and stir, coating the grains with the oil and cooking until golden, about 4 – 6 minutes. Pour in wine, stirring constantly, until wine has reduced out.
Adding a 1/2 cup at a time, add in warm stock, continuing to stir, until stock has reduced out. Continue adding 1/2 cup at a time until you’ve incorporated about 2 cups.
With remaining stock, stir in cooked pumpkin and puree with an immersion mixer (or blender) until smooth. Continue stirring and adding remaining stock and cook until rice is al dente. This will take 40 – 45 minutes of constant stirring.
Once the stock has all been incorporated add in the 2 Tablespoons butter and stir. Now add mushrooms, cream, and Parmesan Cheese and stir until creamy and rich. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper. Turn off heat and serve immediately.
With all the stirring you’d think it’d be impossible to do anything else which is why prepping beforehand is so crucial. Before I even started the risotto, I had 8 diver scallops cleaned and plated in the fridge awaiting their date with the hot pan. I sprinkled them with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Once the last bit of stock was working it’s magic and the risotto was waiting for all it’s lusciousness to be added (butter, cream, cheese) I went ahead and put a skillet on the other burner. I cranked it to medium high heat and brought the scallops out of their cold cell. I used about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter and added to the pan once the pan was hot. I cooked the scallops on each side about 2 1/2 minutes until they were perfectly golden brown and served them on top of the risotto with an extra sprinkling of grated Parm.
This Fall dish is comfort on a plate. The creamy risotto is velvety in texture and the scallops taste of the sea, from which they were pulled. This is definitely a dish worth making for that special someone in your life.
Scallops definitely make the splurge list for me. Even so, I was able to grab these monsters of the sea on sale so it didn’t hurt the pocket book too much:) What ingredient(s) do you occasionally splurge on? What’s your special meal deal and what makes it so special? Comment below. I’d love to hear from you!