Talking Pumpkin Risotto and Brand Building with Racil Chalhoub

by Tamu McPherson

Hey there Pretty Birds, just in time for the weekend, a new episode of Tamu’s Cafe.
In this episode, Lebanese beauty Racil Chalhoub and I meet up at the All the Pretty Birds HQ to make a delicious Pumpkin Risotto and to discuss how she started her highly sought-after eponymous fashion brand Racil that offers a fresh and modern take on tuxedos for us ladies. In addition to being an awesome partner in our risotto adventure (it was amazing BTW!), she shares excellent tips on how to identify and focus on what you want to do, how to execute your vision and build a business from there. A yummy recipe, great conversation, please grab your favorite glass or cup of something  and enjoy the video.

Today’s Specials:

Serves 6
Pumpkin Risotto Courtesy of Food&Wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound fresh pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice (1 1/3 cups)
2 medium white onions, finely diced
3/4 cup dry Riesling
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
About 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 teaspoon salt
7 cups Vegetable Stock for Risotto or canned low-sodium chicken broth
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups arborio rice (about 11 ounces)
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

Heat the oil in a nonreactive medium saucepan. Add the pumpkin and half of the onions and cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until the pumpkin is just tender, about 7 minutes. Stir in the wine, nutmeg, white pepper and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
In a food processor, puree the pumpkin mixture until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl.
In a medium saucepan, bring the vegetable stock to a boil over moderate heat. Reduce the heat to low and keep the stock hot.
In a nonreactive medium saucepan, heat 2 1/2 tablespoons of the butter until it begins to sizzle. Add the rice and the remaining onions and cook over moderately high heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the onions are translucent, about 7 minutes. Immediately stir in 1 cup of the hot stock and cook, stirring constantly, until all of the liquid has been absorbed, about 2 minutes.
Reduce the heat to moderate and gradually add 3 more cups of the hot stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring and cooking until each cup is almost absorbed before adding the next, about 15 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin puree. Continue adding the remaining 3 cups stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring and cooking as above, until the rice is tender, about 10 minutes longer. The risotto will be quite loose. Stir in the parsley and the remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons butter.
Spoon the risotto into 6 warmed soup plates and sprinkle the Parmesan on top. Serve immediately.

You can shop Racil at these locations.
Video by Martino Lorenzi.
Flowers courtesy of our partner Frida’s Italia.

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