Thursday, March 19, 2009

Chilli Pumpkin Cranberry Rissotto


3 lb sugar pumpkin,
2 tablespoons olive oil
1red onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger finely chopped
4 hot red chilies, seeded and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/3 cup dry white wine
5 cups vegetable broth, kept warm on the stove top
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoonfreshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
juice of one lime
1 teaspoon agave

For the pumpkin seeds
2 teaspoons paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon salt

To prepare the pumpkin and seeds: Preheat oven to 350 F.
Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and the stringy bits with a tablespoon. Reserve the seeds and place them in a colander to clean.Lightly oil a baking sheet and place the pumpkin face down on sheet.Bake for about 35 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork, but not completely mushy. Once cooled, peel off the skin and chop pumpkin into bite sized pieces.

In the meantime, wash the pumpkin seeds and dry completely with a kitchen towel. Place on a baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with a little olive oil, toss to coat. You can toast them in the oven whilethe pumpkin bakes, it usually takes about 15 minutes. Toss once or twice. Remove from oven and place in a bowl to cool. Once cooled,sprinkle with the spices to coat.
For the Risotto

Preheat a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Saute the onion, garlic, ginger and chilies in the oil for about 7 minutes, stirring often so you don't burn it. Add the risotto and stir to coat with oil. Add wine to deglaze the pot, then add first cup of vegetable broth.Use a wooden spoon to stir until most of the water is absorbed.

Continue adding veggie broth then stirring a few more times, until only a cup of broth is left. When you're at the last cup, add thepumpkin and cranberries and repeat stirring. When most of the liquidhas absorbed, add salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and lime juice. Stir incoconut milk. Cook for about 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally.Taste and adjust salt. At this point you can also add a teaspoon of agave to bring out the sweetness of the cranberries and pumpkin.

Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving, to let the flavors"marry." Scoop into bowls and garnish with pumpkin seeds.

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