24 November 2009

Pumpkin Risotto, Crispy Bread Soffritto, and Pumpkin Chile Recipes

Photo by Nesster @ flickr

From Denny: There are only so many pumpkin pies and pumpkins breads a cook can make before they are wondering if there is any greater creativity that can be done with a pumpkin. Pumpkins are such a great food resource of vitamins and minerals. Look no further as these Southern chefs have been busy creating new and tasty recipes for the revered pumpkin, raising it to the table status of vegetable royalty! :)

They were featured in Country Roads Magazine - a Louisiana regional arts, culture and cuisine magazine (no photos for their recipes).

Pumpkin Risotto with Crispy Bread “Soffritto”

From: Chef Alon Shaya of Domenica Restaurant, New Orleans, Louisiana

Serves: 8


6 tbsp. butter, unsalted
1 cup yellow onion, diced a quarter inch thick
3 cups pumpkin, skinned and seeded, diced quarter inch thick
12 1/2 cups vegetable stock
4 cups risotto (rice), Vialone Nanno or Arborio
2 cups Castelmagno cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano is a fine substitute), grated
8 tbsp. bread Soffritto (recipe below)
Salt to taste

Place rice in a large saucepot and turn the heat on medium. Continuously stir the rice until it is very hot, but not turning brown. This will release the natural oils in the rice and give the dish much more flavor. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

In a different saucepot, place half of the butter, onions and half of the pumpkin and cook until onions are tender. Add vegetable stock and bring to simmer. Simmer until pumpkin is tender and purée mixture with a hand blender. Add the other half of the diced pumpkin and simmer for an additional 10 minutes or until it is tender.

Place the pot with the rice back on a high heat and add half of the pumpkin infused stock. Simmer until all of the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding one ladle of stock at a time while stirring until each addition has been absorbed and all of the stock is gone. This will take 18-20 minutes.

About 5 minutes before the rice is completely cooked stir in the cheese. Keep stirring over the heat until the rice is tender with a slight al dente bite to it. Add the butter and serve with the crispy Bread Soffritto on top (recipe below).

Bread Soffritto


2 cups ciabatta bread, no crust, diced an eighth of an inch thick
¼ cup shallots, sliced thin
2 oz. dried cherries, rehydrated in warm water
2 oz. extra virgin olive oil
1 sprig rosemary
Salt to taste


In a sauté pan, place oil, rosemary and onions on medium heat and cook until onions just begin to turn golden. Add diced bread and cook until bread is crispy. Toss mixture with salt and cherries. Remove rosemary sprig and set aside for the garnish.

Roasted Pumpkin Chile

From: Chef Regina Charboneau of Twin Oaks, Natchez, Mississippi

Serves: 8


2 tbls. olive oil
1 medium diced onion
1 medium diced sweet red pepper
2 fresh jalapenos
1 lb.yams
1 lb. pumpkin or squash
4 small new red potatoes
8 garlic cloves
2 zucchini
2 cups cooked pinto beans
2 10 oz. cans Rotel tomatoes (diced tomatoes with diced jalapenos)
1 12 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 tbls. ground chile powder
Salt and Pepper


To roast pumpkin (or squash):

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut yams in half and cut pumpkin into eighths. Leave new potatoes, jalapenos and garlic cloves whole. Place on large baking sheet. Salt and pepper the tops and drizzle just a touch of olive oil on top of the pumpkin. Place in hot oven. Roast for 30 minutes then remove the Jalapenos and garlic cloves. Let cool and cut jalapeno into strips removing the seeds. Cut garlic into quarters. Continue to roast but every ten minutes, using a fork, check for doneness of vegetables. They should be firm but the fork should go through without excessive effort. Let vegetables cool. Peel the yams and pumpkin and cut into 3/4 inch cubes. Leave the skin on the Potatoes and dice into 1/2 inch cubes.

To complete chile:

In 4 quart pot add olive oil and heat over medium heat. Dice zucchini into 3/4 inch cubes and set aside. Add diced onion and peppers to hot oil and sauté for two minutes to brown. Add diced zucchini and sauté for one minute. Add roasted vegetables, garlic and jalapenos. Add cooked pinto Beans, Rotel tomatoes and diced tomatoes. Stir in chile powder and stir well. Taste and adjust salt, begin with 1/2 teaspoon. Simmer chile for 30 minutes.

Serve Chile in shallow soup bowls, topped with sour cream. Top sour cream with Spicy Corn.

Ingredients for Spicy Corn Topping:

Makes: 3 cups

2 ears yellow corn
1 16 oz. jar Mrs. Renfrows Spicy Green Salsa or any brand you like of spicy salsa verde
Sour Cream is optional


Shuck yellow corn and remove kernels with a sharp knife. Get a cast iron skillet or sauté pan very hot. Place corn kernels into skillet and brown. Use a metal spatula to move the corn around to roast the kernels. Mix roasted corn kernels with green salsa. Serve on top of Roasted Pumpkin Chile.

*** Thanks for visiting and have a great Thanksgiving holiday!
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