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Pumpkin & Pomegranate Risotto

pumpkin risotto 2

 

Yesterday we hosted our annual B&S holiday party. The day each year where we cook a full holiday meal for our friends, photograph all the recipes, and tie a nice bow around all the recipes I’ll be posting throughout the holiday season. It’s my favorite day of the year for many reasons, particularly because it combines everything I love about the holidays– cooking and sharing food with people I adore– without all the usual pressure of the holidays. It’s a magical day.

 

pumpkin risotto 3

pumpkin risotto 4

 

The first course was a risotto with caramelized onions, bone broth, fresh pumpkin, dry white wine, and pomegranate seeds. Thanks to the bone broth the risotto was rich and creamy, and the pumpkin added a heartiness perfect for this time of year. The pomegranate seeds sprinkled on top were a delightful surprise, bringing a freshness and tartness that lightened the overall flavor of the dish. It was a fantastic way to start the meal.

 

pumpkin risotto 1

Pumpkin & Pomegranate Risotto

1 fresh pumpkin

1 yellow onion

3 cloves garlic

1 pat butter

2 cups arborio rice

5 cups bone broth or stock

1 cup dry white wine

Salt to taste

1 pomegranate

 

Halve and gut pumpkin and roast at 350F for 25-30 minutes or until pumpkin is soft, but not mushy.

 

Dice onion. Melt butter in a large skillet and begin to cook rice over medium- low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are browned. Mince garlic and stir in, along with dry rice. Toast rice for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add in 2 cups of bone broth, room temperature, along with salt. Stir the risotto until all the liquid is absorbed, then taste. Add the remaining broth and, if desired, more salt. Continue to stir until all the liquid is absorbed, then add in the wine. Stir until fully absorbed and then drop the temperature to low. Scoop the pumpkin out of the skin and add it to the risotto, breaking it into bite sized pieces as you go. Stir to combine, then transfer to a serving dish.

 

Halve pomegranate and break apart with your hands. Sprinkle seeds over top of the dish and serve hot.

 

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Lovely Internet 11.16.13

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1. This week, I ran a marathon. My second one. It was pretty great.

2. Cranberry Sage Pie.

3. The Craziest OK Cupid Date Ever.

4. I’m so thankful for my two rescue dogs, and I couldn’t imagine life without them. Plus, this time of year makes me extra sentimental, so this book sounds perfect.

5. These amazing colorized photos put history into a new light.

6. Yup, pretty much.

7. This should be excellent.

8. Speaking of running marathons.

9. Most of my running wardrobe, especially my shoes, is a shock of turquoise, teals, and orange. And hot pink because, yeah. So, guilty, NYT.

10. This is a strange and enthralling time suck.

For more tidbits from Elena the person, follow me on twitterinstagrampinterest or facebook. Follow along with MissElenaeous for thoughts on everything other than Southern food.

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Muscadine Jam

muscadine jam 4

 

All summer long I had this song stuck in my head, particularly the lyric “she’s got me high as a Georgia pine, wild as a muscadine (pronounced musky-dine, naturally) vine…” It was on continuous play in my mind, over and over and over again, only occasionally alternating with useful things like thoughts. Don’t worry, since we started the school year it’s been replaced by the old favorite, Froggy Went a Courtin which is infinitely more obnoxious to sing around fellow adults better.

 

muscadine jam 2

 

When I saw local muscadines in the market, I scooped up a pound. The state fruit of North Carolina is the scuppernog, a variety of muscadine, something I knew I’d be returning to it sometime soon for Tasting North CarolinaI couldn’t resist the opportunity to make a quick jam, something to add to my list of preserves I’ll be gifting this holiday season.

 

muscadine jam 3

 

The jam is fresh muscadines, cane sugar, a squeeze of meyer lemon, and a bit of salt. Muscadines are a sweet, robust grape, so this jam doesn’t need much to enhance the flavor. I opted to strain it for a smoother finish, but left chunky it would be the perfect pair for a pork roast or glaze for a ham. As it is, wrapped up with a wedge of brie and an assortment of crackers this jam will be the perfect something to slide into a stocking or present as a hostess gift.

 

muscadine jam 1

Muscadine Jam

makes 4 half pint jars

2 pounds muscadine grapes

2 cups raw cane sugar

Juice of 2 meyer lemons

1 tsp salt

3 tbsp classic pectin

In a saucepan combine grapes, sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Simmer for 30-45 minutes until thick. Stir in pectin and simmer an additional 10 minutes.

In a waterbath boil jars and lids.

Push jam mixture through a mesh strainer to create a smooth jam, or leave the grapes in tact for a chunky preserve.

Use a spoon to fill the jars, leaving 1/4″ of room at the top.  Use a spoon to make sure there are no bubbles in the jar, and adjust the headspace (space between the jam and the top of the jar) as needed.  Wipe the rim with a sterile cloth and fish a lid out of the pot.  Place the lid onto the jar and screw the band on tightly.  Set aside and repeat with all of your jars.

Take the rack from the other pot and place the jars onto it.  Lower the rack into the pot (whose water should be boiling) and process the jars for 10 minutes.  Remove them from the water and (here’s the hardest part) wait for the ping.  When they first come out of the water the jar should pop up and down, but when the jars seals you won’t be able to pop the jar any more.  Some jars will seal immediately, some will take a little longer, and some may not at all.  If jars fail to seal, store them in the fridge for up to two weeks.  The jars that do seal, however, are good in a cool dark space for up to a year.  Enjoy!

**As with any preservation process, there are risks.  If you notice anything abnormal, discard the jam immediately.  Botulism is no fun.**

 

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