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April 6, 2009 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Pumpkin Rice Cooker Risotto

OK, so I know that this sounds like something from Food in a Minute, but it is really a great way to make risotto. Obviously you need a rice cooker, which I think is a good investment not only for this dish, but also because I am rubbish at making rice. You need to put the stock and rice in at, generally, a 2:1 ratio—however, each rice cooker is different. Use the fiddly little cup they give you and the lines on the side of the rice cooker bowl for initial guidance. Most rice cookers have marks that say things like ‘2’, ‘4’, ‘6’ and so on. This means you put in two little cups of rice and then fill up to the ‘2’ line with liquid. If it looks too dry halfway through the cooking process, add more stock, white wine, or even water, and give the rice time to absorb the new liquid.


Arborio rice (this is a special type of rice, priced at between $3–$6 for a bag; available from supermarkets)
1 tbsp olive oil
Chicken Stock (although vegetable stock is also fine)
1 onion, diced
1 to 2 cups of diced and cooked pumpkin
A sprig of rosemary, finely chopped (just the leaves—not the twiggy part)
Cheese, parmesan preferably

Turn the rice cooker on to ‘cook’ and heat the oil in the cooker. Add the Arborio rice and stir for one to two minutes, making sure that each grain is covered in oil, and glossy in appearance. Then add the onion and allow to cook for a further minute or so. Finally, pour in the stock and give the mixture a good stir. Place the lid on and leave the rice to cook until the rice cooker goes ‘ding’ and switches to ‘warm’. Make sure you stir the rice two or three times during this process to ensure none is sticking to the bottom.

When the rice is ready, stir through the pumpkin, parmesan, rosemary and salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy! If you have leftovers and want to be decadent, wrap any remaining risotto around some cheese and fry it into little cakes…

To make chicken stock:

In a large, heavy-bottomed pan cover the following with a lot of water:

1 roast chicken carcass (i.e. the bones)
1 carrot, chopped in half
1 stalk of celery, chopped in half (no leaves)
1 onion, chopped in half
2 large peeled cloves of garlic
2 tsps salt
5 or so peppercorns
Whatever fresh herbs you have around the place, tied together in a little bundle with string (thyme, sage, rosemary etc)

Bring to the boil and then skim any gunk off the top; a big slotted spoon works OK for this. Lower the heat to a simmer for around three hours, so the liquid reduces by at least a third, and then take off the heat and allow to cool. Pass through a fine sieve and put into a watertight container. Throw away the bits and pieces that went into the stock—you just want pure liquid. This stock freezes really well and is great in soups and the like.


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