Looking for just one more pumpkin recipe? I know you are! I mean how on earth could you be pumpkin-ed out so
early late in November. Man time flies!
I was feeling the pumpkin urge too and then, like a cold shiver runs down your back, it came to me. Pumpkin risotto. Creamy, rich, fall-time risotto! In case you haven’t done the whole risotto thing before, it’s actually a technique of cooking, not a kind of rice. Most recipes call for arborio rice, but I’ve even seen brown rice risotto recipes (never made them, but they exist.) So if white rice doesn’t sit well with you, have no fear, there are many ways to healthify this dish.
Here’s the method:
First off, let me say, I’ve failed at risotto many times before I succeeded. One of my most previous attempts took about 50 minutes and still yielded too al dente rice. Since then I’ve spent countless hours stirring pots of risotto just to get it right. Sike! (ah remember that!) I don’t have countless hours, and I def wouldn’t be cooking risotto if I did, but I did use a little common sense and adjusted my heat. That was about it. You see, they key is to have high enough heat and hot enough cooking liquid, otherwise the rice won’t cook, duh. So don’t turn your heat down, just stir often so the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.
One of the last steps is to add the pumpkin. I used canned, but feel free to bake a pumpkin, scoop out all the insides and make it into a purée. Oh wait, don’t have the time for that? (Read: I used canned.)
While I was risotto-ing it, I was also pan frying some pork chops. I felt very Rachel Ray-esque multitasking up the wazoo, but even with all the pics to take, it wasn’t too much to handle. For real. It was actually quite simple, the risotto took good care of itself while I tended to the chops.
Oh the chops.
These chops are finger licking good, great even! So great, I think this is my new go-to meat recipe. Not only did I have super moist pork chops, seasoned to perfection, dripping in a balsamic honey glaze on my plate, it took less than 20 minutes to find itself there. 20 minutes ladies and gentleman.
Start of seasoning the pork with salt, pepper and herbs de Provence.
Sear the meat. (Meaning put the meat in the pan and DO NOT TOUCH for at least 2 minutes.) Meat knows when it needs to be flipped and kind of releases itself from the pan – sticky meat is uncooked meat, so wait a second before you rip the pork off the pan.
It seems like I skipped a step here but the sauce was all too simple there isn’t much to show. After searing the pork on both sides, remove from the pan and set aside. Then add the balsamic vinegar, let it reduce by half and stir in the honey. Back to the pan with the chops, give them a good coating with the glaze and let cook, covered, for about 10 minutes. That’s it!
This is a real palate pleaser. Herbs add just the right depth of flavor to balance the not too sweetly glazed chops and the creamy risotto texture melts in your mouth with that rich subtle hue of pumpkin. Don’t forget to drizzle the top with extra balsamic sauce, it’s outta this world!
Off to Michigan for the holiday, hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!
balsamic honey glazed pork chops
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Ingredients (3 servings)
- 3 pork chops, 20 minutes removed from fridge
- 1-2 Tbsp evoo
- 1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp honey
- herbs de Provence
- salt and pepper
Heat oil in pan over medium high heat and season both sides of chops with herbs de Provence, salt and pepper. Sear the pork on each side for about 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
Turn heat to medium and add vinegar. Let reduce by half and stir in honey.
Add back the pork chops, cover and let simmer for about 10 minutes, flipping the pork half way through, being sure to coat the chops with the sauce.
Serve with drizzle of reducing liquid. (or a lot- it’s plate licking good!)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30-40 minutes
Ingredients (4-6 servings)
- 1 c. arborio rice
- 3 1/2 c. vegetable stock
- 7.5 oz. pumpkin purée, canned
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 Tbsp garlic, minced (~ 2 cloves)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter (optional)
In a small saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer.
In large pan, heat oil over medium-high heat, add onion and sauté for a minute or two. Next add the garlic and rice, stir, coating the rice with the oil.
Add about half of the stock to the large pan, enough to cover the rice. Cook the rice, stirring often, until pretty much all of the liquid has been absorbed. Then add half of the remaining stock, continue to cook, stirring often, until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Add the rest of the liquid and cook until fully absorbed.
Turn the heat low and stir in the pumpkin purée and salt. Finish with Parmesan cheese and butter, serve immediately.