Friday, October 3, 2008

VeganMoFo: Hello Salty Goodness!

Before I get to the good stuff, I'd like to take a minute to discuss salt. I decided long ago never to walk in anyone's shadow. That "Greatest Love of All" lyric pretty much sums up my thoughts on salt. Baking aside, I really think people should take control of their salt usage. Basically, most recipes I come up with will always say salt to taste. There are many reasons why but I'll just keep it down to the main three.

1. Ingredients-Say a recipe calls for vegetable broth. Well, the entire spectrum of broths is incredibly different. If a recipe calls for broth and you use bouillon cubes when the author primarily used organic liquid broths, chances are your dish will be super salty in comparison. So most of my recipes will skimp just a little on the salt if they feature another salty element.

2. I'm a rebel, Dottie-Part of me will never really like doing what I'm told. I think half the fun of cooking is adding your own flavor to a recipe. It begins with salt, people. Once you conquer salt, you can definitely conquer the world.

3. Different Strokes-At the end of the day, everybody has different tastes and needs when it comes to salt. Take my brother, for example. This fool will take a pack of Ramen noodles, drain it of water, add the super salty flavor packet and float it in a pool of soy sauce. I've gone dehydrated from typing that.

Anyway. Today, I went for a walk on the wild side and created my first ever risotto recipe. I encourage you to try it with organic liquid vegetable broth. I was very happy with the way it turned out. The pumpkin is a bit subtle, but it adds a super fabulous creaminess to it.

Pumpkin and Porcini Risotto
5 ½ cups vegetable broth
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 oz dried porcini mushrooms
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup shallots, thinly sliced
2-3 small garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ cups Arborio rice
½ tsp salt
2 Tbsp fresh thyme (plus more for garnish)
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium sauce pan, bring the vegetable broth and pumpkin to a simmer over medium high heat. Add the porcinis and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to low. Heat olive oil in a large sautĂ© pan over medium high heat. Add the shallots and cook until they begin to soften. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (around thirty seconds). Next add the rice and make sure to coat it with the olive oil. Cook it for a couple of minutes until it smells toasty. Turn the heat to low. Add the salt and 1 cup of the broth (be sure to leave the porcinis in the broth for as long as possible). Now get to stirring. Stir constantly and add ½ cup of broth/porcini mixture every time the liquid is fully absorbed by the rice. The risotto should be done between 30 and 40 minutes. Add the fresh thyme and salt and pepper to taste.

Well that's it. Another glorious day of VeganMoFo accomplished. Tomorrow marks the end of pumpkin "week." But I still have a bunch of things in store. Muahahahahaha. Ha.


Georgia said...

Risotto looks great - and I too am a salt fan. I am in love with this awesome organic herb salt that my dad sells in his business. mmmmmm....

I have never made risotto (I am ashamed) - I will be keeping this recipe for when I feel the inspiration (and have all the ingredients in my house at the one time!)

aTxVegn said...

Pumpkin risotto sounds rich and delicious. I love anything with pumpkin.

I was thinking about doing a salt post. Have you noticed *salt bars* at the markets?

I didn't realize you were a Texas girl!

Bex said...

I'm a risotto whore, I might have to make this.

Katy said...

Thanks for you comment on my blog! Congrats on finishing your raw challenge!

That pumpkin risotto looks divine!

Alicia said...

Oh yum Mo! I'm printing this one out and trying it ASAP.