I wasn't quite sure what to call this post. There were a few reasons why I wanted to cook last nights dinner and a few areas I wanted to cover so if I drift from one subject to another, I promise you it will make sense!
I was so excited to find a beautiful block of Tasmania Blue cheese at the shops last time I visited and even more excited to see the price reduced. I decided a while back I won't buy all the little flavour enhancers I'd like if it wasn't good for the whole family. Try as I might my kids are not that adventurous to go for a bit of smooth, creamy blue on the end of a cracker and nor should they. Blue cheese is a very acquired taste. I always had a fascination with it. My dad use to buy himself a piece of Stilton every once in a while when I was growing up and I use to watch him gloriously spread it on top of a cracker and savour every little bite. I once built up the courage to try some at the ripe old age of eleven or so. Dad seemed to enjoy it so much I thought it just had to be good. The only 'good' thing I got from it was a swig of dad's beer after I took a bite to wash the bloody awful flavour of smelly old socks from my mouth!
It took me many years after that to try it again and slowly but surly I began to acquire the same love and appreciation my dad had for the smelly, delicious creamy blue. Nic is not one to jump up and down and go giddy at the sight of soft cheeses on a cheese board, however he does appreciate the subtlety of a good blue.
I decided to pack the boys off to bed early last night with a favorite of theirs- noodles. There are just some nights after you have been hard at work or screaming around running the kids here there and every where, when you just want to spend the night with your other half and hear yourself think and last night was that night for me. They couldn't of given a flying hoot to tell you the truth. As soon as showers were done and teeth brushed both boys settled down to their favorite activity at the moment- drawing and that was fine by me!
Now back to the cheese, I didn't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen because I was buggered from the day and secondly I hadn't seen Nic all day due to him marking papers so it was going to have to be a 30 minute meal. If you have read through my blogs you'll know I am a fan a risotto, pumpkin risotto to be precise. I had bought a 'Jap' pumpkin about 3 weeks ago and hadn't got around to using it, it still looked firm and healthy so I cut into it and was pleasantly surprise to see the lovely yellow flesh look firm, bright and ready to cook.
Pumpkin and blue cheese go together swimmingly for those of you who haven't yet tried it. When blended together the creamy/sharp blue compliments the sweet, richness of a good pumpkin.
In a nut shell I cut about 2 cups of pumpkin flesh and bring it to the boil in 4 cups of water. While that was coming to the boil I fried off some onion and garlic then tipped in 1 cup of aborio rice. Just before adding the pumpkin and water to my rice I mashed the pumpkin with a potato masher to break it up a bit. After adding all the pumpkin water and the rice is just about done, I threw in 1/2 cup of frozen peas and cooked them for the last five minutes.
To finish this little baby off, I removed it from the stove, squeezed half a lemon over the risotto and sprinkled it with cubes of blue cheese (about half the block above). I Folded it through then covered the risotto while I set the table.
Once rested, fill your glasses with a yummy NZ Sauvignon Blanc, portion into bowls and kick back to enjoy the richness of this wonderful meal. One cup of rice is quite a bit but I have to say we polished it all off!