"My way of joking is to tell the truth. it's the funniest joke in the world."
George Bernard Shaw
|Border Terriers....hopefully not chasing skunks!|
You know how dogs say hello to each other? Yeah that. Well Tully ran up to a huge skunk to check his calling card (naturally) and got sprayed point blank in the face, the poor thing. Now that is just rude. Have you ever smelled skunk up close and personal? It's so bad you can hardly breathe. And it lingers...for-ev-er. It's enough to get your shorts in a knot. My job was to go online and find a recipe for "de-skunking solution." Luckily, the Mister tackled the actual dirty job. Where is Mike Rowe when you need him? It worked surprisingly well and although you probably can still detect Eau-De-Skunk around here, it's better than last time (yes, rewind 11 years, different dog, Audrey's fifth birthday party, skunked dog running all through it..Murphy's Law, after all). It can get a little nutty here. I once hosted a traveling troupe of college singers for a weekend and one of them commented that our family was like a sitcom. Is that good or bad?
But I digress...the risotto.
Not being a professional writer by trade, I cannot properly express my excitement over this dish. It was savory, creamy, yet toothsome, and as comforting as an embrace. I loved it! Risotto is not difficult, you just have to stand there and stir it constantly for 20 minutes. Tending it is the key to it's creamy richness, but you are amply rewarded for your efforts with this dish. It can be a side dish, but it's also good enough to stand alone as a meatless meal.
This recipe was inspired by and adapted from the pumpkin risotto recipe in the Better Homes and Gardens Special Publication, Ultimate Italian, at newsstands now. I recommend it if you happen across it, there are tons of great recipes and I plan on working my way through it.
Pumpkin Mushroom Parmesan Risotto
2 to 2 1/2 cups water
1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
4 ounces baby bella mushrooms, diced small (pieces should equal 1 cup)
1 garlic clove, run through garlic press, or minced
2 cups uncooked arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
Several grinds fresh black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
In a medium saucepan, bring water and broth to boil. Set aside. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms. Cook about 3 minutes or until onion is tender. Add uncooked rice. Cook and stir for 3 minutes until rice begins to brown.
Slowly add the wine to the rice mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to cook and stir over medium heat until liquid is absorbed. Stir in the seasonings. Now you will begin to slowly add the hot chicken broth mixture. Add to rice 1/2 cup at a time, slowly and stirring constantly. When all the liquid is absorbed, add 1/2 cup more, again slowly and stirring constantly. Keep stirring until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is slightly creamy and just tender (this should take about 20 minutes). Stir in pumpkin and Parmesan cheese; heat through. Serve immediately. Makes 4-6 servings.