Monday, October 5, 2009

Fall Fest 2009

We had our good friends Emily and Steve in town this weekend. They will often have guest appearances in this blog, since they love food as much as Jeremy and I do. Emily and I were roommates for a period after college, and she introduced me to my beloved Barefoot Contessa.

Sunday morning, Jack was up at 6:15 a.m., and since we live in a loft, I got Jack and I dressed and we took a walk in the crisp fall air as our guests (and daddy/hubby Jeremy) snoozed. It's always nice to spend some time with my little guy, particularly when he's being cuddly and adorable. We stopped at Caribou Coffee - I can't recommend their wild pumpkin coffee drink - it was just okay, and the calorie count was out of control. But Jack and I had a good snugfest as we shared a blueberry muffin. He was such a good boy, sitting on my lap, batting those long eyelashes he inherited from Jeremy. It makes up for those times he's terrorizing the cat and making general mayhem.

Emily knows how much I love fall, so later that day, she made quite the feast.The main dish was pork loin with fig and port sauce, which she dressed up further by adding dijon mustard and pancetta. Whoa! She paired it with roasted butternut squash salad with warm cider vinaigrette and pumpkin and pine nut risotto:

Pumpkin and Pine Nut Risotto
1 lb fresh pumpkin, seeded
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/3 cups Italian risotto
2/3 cup white wine
3 3/4 cups hot chicken broth
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Clean pumpkin and chunk into 3/4 inch pieces. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large saucepan with the oil and sauté pumpkin for 3-4 minutes. Add nuts and continue sautéing for 2 minutes longer. Remove from pan with slotted spoon and set aside.
Add onion to drippings in pan. Sauté until tender; add garlic and rice, stirring for about 1 minute. Pour in wine and let boil until evaporated. Add 1/2 cup of the hot broth, stirring until absorbed. Continue cooking and adding broth until the rice is thick and creamy but still has texture. (About 20 minutes). You might not need all the broth.

Add pumpkin and pine nuts and 1/2 the parmesan cheese to rice. Serve hot with remaining cheese.

I love fall!

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