Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pumpkin Risotto with Pan Seared Sea Scallops

This is one of those dishes I wished I could keep eating.  I wanted to lick my plate and did run my finger along it and lick it.  Gross, I know, but it was that good.  Super creamy, and the rice was done perfectly.  It was tender, but still firm, and was just really great.  The sea scallops are optional, but I think they added a lot to the dish.  They added a lightness.  It was also to have something "meaty" against the creaminess of the risotto.  I will so be making this again!  This is a time consuming dish.  Took 35-45 minutes all told, and you are kinda tied to the stove.  But it is pretty easy.  A wonderful fall dish!

adapted from: 
serves 4-6 adults


For the risotto:
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 4 TBSP butter, divided
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 large (or 5 small)garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1 cup diced pumpkin, roasted
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 bag or scant 2 cups risotto
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped (opt)
for scallops:
  • scallops
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 1 TBSP olive oil

 Preheat the oven to 425 F.  Cut the pumpkin in half with a very sharp knife (be careful!) and scoop out the seeds with a large spoon.
Use a good vegetable peeler to remove the skin and cut the pumpkin into small cubes.  Place pumpkin cubes on baking sheet.  Drizzle with oil and toss to coat evenly.  Add salt, rosemary, and pepper.   Place in preheated oven and bake until tender and golden at the edges, about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile,(I love that word, so story teller-ish) put the stock in a saucepan over low heat to come to a simmer.
Melt 3 TBSP butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add 1 TBSP olive oil.  When it is melted, add the onion and cook until tender, about 4 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook another minute.  Add the rice and stir for about two minutes so it can get coated with the butter and toast.  Add the wine, and let simmer for a minute or two until the wine is absorbed.
Add  the pumpkin puree and 2 ladle-fuls of hot stock to the risotto and stir constantly until it is absorbed.  Add another 2 ladles of stock and repeat until rice is cooked but still has a little firmness.  Add the last TBSP of butter, the Parmesan cheese, parsley if desired and cubed pumpkin. Finally, finish the risotto by adding pepper and salt to taste. 

the scallops had a nice browned crust... perfect!
For Scallops:
Have scallops thawed, remove the tough band, and patted very dry with paper towels.  Season with some salt and pepper. When about half the stock is gone place butter and oil in pan and turn on medium high.  Wait until it is screaming hot but not smoking, and add scallops to pan.  Cook on each side 4-7 minutes depending on how big they are.  Mine were huge so they had to go longer.  Cook until a deep golden brown and turn.  Do the same on the other side.  Serve over the risotto. 
Serve immediately while hot.

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