To love pumpkin or not to love pumpkin?
Mention the word pumpkin around my hubby, and you may get a shake of the head, and then an exasperated sigh followed by some curses strung together. Against all judgement and iCoastside—an app which estimated an hour trip to get to the pumpkin festival in Half Moon Bay from our house—I convinced my eager to please husband and the two wonderful children he’s blessed me with to sit in ungodly traffic to venture West in hopes to see pumpkin magic.
Let’s just say that my virgin visit to the pumpkin festival will be a one time experience. The round trip (20 miles) took close to 3 hours. While sitting in traffic, I had a flashback of the Long Island Expressway on a summer afternoon when the entire city had decided to rent cars and head to the Island. Whatever good feelings were circulating through us after seeing artists, musicians, pumpkins and walking scarecrows, were quickly erased by the manic AARP card-carrying drivers that cut us off on our way home.
Like Lindsay Lohan’s publicist, I had to do immediate damage control. The pumpkin’s reputation in our house had plummeted like the recent stock market. I had to cheat my way through a risotto recipe in the absence of arborio rice, by using regular Asian sticky rice, one adorable sugar pumpkin, and sausage crackle.
Roasting a small pumpkin is incredibly easy but using canned pumpkin is even easier.
Scoop out the flesh after roasting and puree in a food processor. You’ll need 2 cups for this recipe, which will leave you with some extra pumpkin puree to freeze.
Sausage crack-le gets its name from the crispy crackle you get when cooking them minced and well, its addictive nature.
- 2 c pumpkin puree(either canned or from a small roasted pumpkin)
- 1 1/2 c sushi rice(Asian sticky rice like Kokuho Rose or Nishiki)
- 1 package of fully cooked sausage(chicken apple was used but you can use your favorite kind)
- 3 c of chicken broth brought to room temperature or warmed(boxed kind works fine here)
- 1 c white wine
- 1 1/2 tbs olive oil
- 1 tbs butter
- 1/2 tbs salt
- black pepper to taste
- 1 c grated parmesan cheese or to taste
- If roasting, use a small sugar pumpkin. Split in half, deseed and roast at 400 degree F for 1 hour cut side down. After it's cooled down, scoop out flesh and puree in a food processor.
- Mince 4 sausages into small bits. Slice into sticks vertically first, and then slice horizontally.
- Heat a pan on medium high, drizzle 1/2 tbs of olive oil, and then cook minced sausage for about 4 -5 minutes or until the edges get crisp and crackly. Set aside.
- Rinse and drain 1 1/2 c of sushi rice.
- In a heavy bottomed pot, melt 1 tbs of butter and 1 tbs of olive oil on medium low heat. Add rice(careful, splatter may occur), and toast in oil for 1 minute while stirring constantly.
- Add 1 c of white wine and continue to stir while wine evaporates(about 1-2 minutes).
- Add 1 c chicken stock and stir for 1 minute or until most of the liquid disappears.
- Add 2 c of chicken stock and stir occasionally so the rice doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot. (about 8 minutes).
- Add 2 cups of pureed pumpkin and warm through in the rice for a minute.
- Off the heat, add 1 cup of parmesan cheese or to taste.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve warm with grated parmesan cheese and sausage crackle on top.