Spicy & Sweet Roasted Pork Belly

Spicy & Sweet Roasted Pork Belly

Pork belly has been a delicacy in many Asian countries for decades.

The pork belly is one of four primal cuts of pork and its where bacon comes from, once cured, smoked, and sliced.

Cesar Herrera, chef instructor at Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in McHenry, Illinois says that pork belly blends well with an array of other flavors or can hold its own as the star ingredient of a dish.

Kitchen Ratings describes the pork belly as one of the most flavorful cuts of pork you can find.

They say that the belly has the perfect amount of both fat and meat so that neither feature overpowers the other.

Dr. Stuart Farrimond author of – the Science of Cooking, writes that when raw fat is tasteless, but when cooked turns to oil carrying flavor and giving a moist mouthfeel.

Know Your Pork Belly

The optimal ratio between meat and fat is about 50/50 for oven roasted pork belly.

If it has too much meat, your pork will come out of the oven dry. On the other hand too much fat and it will be greasy and heavy tasting.

Remove the skin called a fat cap before cooking pork belly. A butcher can do this for you, but it is easy if you choose to do so.

Buy pork belly cut into strips that are 3-5 inches thick.

Pork belly has juicy fat layers that run through the meat. Once cooked it becomes tender, similar in texture to a pork loin.

And the fat is melt-in-your-mouth with deliciously yummy flavor.

A forked piece of Spicy & Sweet Roasted Pork Belly

Pork belly is an ethnically diverse product.

Whatever your ethnicity there is likely a pork belly dish in your heritage.

Spicy & Sweet Roasted Pork Belly

3 pounds pork belly, skin removed and cut into 2 inch cubes

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 teaspoon dried red chili flakes

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup rice vinegar

2 tablespoons brown sugar, lightly packed

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon black sesame seeds

4 stalks green onion, chopped

Remove the skin from the pork and cut into 2-inch cubes. Set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together all ingredients, except the sesame seeds, pork belly, and green onions.

Once marinade is made, add the pork pieces and toss to coat.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for one hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove pork from fridge and arrange pieces on a baking sheet loosely. Roast for 20 minutes.

Remove baking sheet from oven and carefully turn each piece over, and roast for 10 minutes more.

Remove from oven, sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions. Return to oven for an additional 5-10 minutes, or just until you smell the fragrance of the onion.

Plate and serve immediately with your favorite side dish.

Plated Spicy & Sweet Roasted Pork Belly with a side of asparagus

Enjoy the flavor of pork belly with this recipe – Pork Belly Sharp Cheddar Broccoli Bake.


Sweet & Spicy Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs

Chicken thigh meat (boneless and skinless) wrapped in smoked bacon and coated in a blend of Harissa seasoning, garlic powder and brown sugar.

The brown sugar caramelizes as it cooks. You are going to love the the tender juicy meat with a sweet and spicy flavor.

It looks deliciously yummy when you pull it out of the oven.

You can see how the blend of something sweet with something spicy coats the bacon wrapped chicken thighs.


You like bacon wrapped chicken thighs – than you’ll love – Bacon Wrapped Garlic Lemon Stuffed Chicken Breast


After you plate it, and cut into the bacon wrapped chicken thigh, you can see how juicy and tender the meat really is. Oh my, so much flavor.


Read More About –

Cooking with Chicken Thighs


Sweet & Spicy Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs

5-6 slices of smoked bacon

1 tablespoon Harissa seasoning

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 cup brown sugar

salt and pepper to taste

garnish with chopped cilantro, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine Harissa seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste in a pie plate.

Press each chicken thigh piece into the brown sugar mix on both sides.

Roll the chicken thigh and wrap in bacon.

Arrange thigh meat in a 10 inch cast iron skillet. Sprinkle the tops with brown sugar.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until chicken reads 165 degrees and is no longer pink.

Place skillet under broiler 1-2 minutes to crisp the bacon, optional.

Plate and serve with a side of your favorite salad.

Try these other chicken thigh recipes using honey and real maple syrup to sweeten the dish –

Baked Honey Soy Chicken Thighs

Maple Mustard Chicken Thighs


Slow Cooker Latin Sweet Potato & Black Bean Salsa Chicken Stew

Slow Cooker Latin Sweet Potato & Black Bean Salsa Chicken Stew

Spicy cumin, chicken, salsa, black beans, and sweet potatoes combine into a flavorful stew.

The thigh meat has unbelievable flavor and tenderness.

Spoon of tender cooked chicken thigh meat - Slow Cooker Latin Sweet Potato & Black Bean Salsa Chicken Stew

Others who have made this recipe commented – “Brilliant recipe. So flavorful.”And another said, “This is probably my favorite crockpot recipe ever.”


Learn More About Cooking with Chicken Thighs


Slow Cooker Latin Sweet Potato & Black Bean Salsa Chicken Stew

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 pounds skinless chicken thighs

salt and ground black pepper to taste

¼ cup cilantro, chopped

2 large sweet potatoes, cut into chunks

1 red bell pepper, cut into strips

2 (15.5 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained

½ cup chicken broth

¼ cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, without steams, do not chop

1 cup hot salsa

2 teaspoons ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground allspice

3 large cloves garlic, chopped

Sour cream and cilantro leaves, for garnish

Close up of a plate of Slow Cooker Latin Sweet Potato & Black Bean Salsa Chicken Stew

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle 1/4 cup cilantro over the chicken thighs. Brown the thighs in frying pan, 3 to 5 minutes each side.

Arrange the thighs in the bottom of slow cooker.

Slower cooker liner with chicken thighs topped with cilantro leaves

Place the sweet potatoes, red bell pepper, and black beans on top of the chicken.

Crock pot liner of Slow Cooker Latin Sweet Potato & Black Bean Salsa Chicken Stew

Mix together the chicken broth, 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, salsa, cumin, allspice, and garlic together in a bowl. Pour over chicken and vegetable layer.

Set slow cooker to LOW and cook for 4 hours.

Garnish with sour cream and cilantro.

Slow Cooker Latin Sweet Potato & Black Bean Salsa Chicken Stew

More slow cooker recipes – Crockpot Creamy Tuscan Chicken Thighs

Use your crockpot to make Homemade Yogurt.

Are you asking, Slow Cooking, is it Safe?


Maple Syrup – The Same As Cane Sugar – Recipes Included

Research involving cane sugar at the University of California-San Francisco reports that sugar is essentially a toxin that causes all sorts of lifestyle diseases, including hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and even cancer.

Sugar is just about in every day foods bought. Such as bread, low-fat yogurt, soy milk, bbq sauce, tomato sauce, chocolate milk, cereals, smoothies, cookies, and muffins among many other foods.

If you were to have just one serving of each of the foods in the above image, you would have consumed about 13 tablespoons of sugar or 37 – 40 teaspoons.

That’s 30 teaspoons past the daily recommended intake by USDA of only 10 teaspoons or 3 tablespoons (The Question of Sugar – USDA).


You’ll enjoy this read – National Maple Syrup Day – is every year on December 17th.


The Alternative To Cane Sugar

There is an alternative sweetener, and what most people don’t know is that it beats out all the others.

What is the alternative? Maple syrup. Maples taste profile is even better than sugar.

Maple Syrup Flavor

Maple syrup has caramel notes along with the woodsy maple flavor that you might expect from a maple syrup product.

Maple syrup can have a complex flavor with notes of vanilla, cinnamon and even hazelnut.

Cane sugar tastes highly refined and incredibly sweet.

Maple Syrup Health Benefits

Maple syrup contains 100 essential nutritional compounds including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, phytohormones, and 67 polyphenols.

A study done by the University of Rhode Island – The College of Pharmacy, reported that maple syrup has antioxidants and minerals that deem this syrup a superfood (Study Source).

The researchers said that in their laboratory research they found several compounds that possessed anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which have been shown to fight cancer, diabetes and bacterial illnesses.

When examining other sweeteners, real maple is higher in – magnesium, calcium, zinc, manganese, and potassium than honey, brown sugar, and white sugar.

The USDA Nutritional Database, says a 1/4 cup serving of Real Maple Syrup supplies 95% of our daily intake of manganese, 37% of riboflavin, 7% of magnesium, 6% of zinc, 5% of calcium and 5% of potassium.

The database also reports maple syrup is higher in antioxidants than cabbage, tomatoes, and cantaloupe.

Real Maple Syrup has a glycemic index of 54, and is defined as having a “medium” index.

Cane Sugar on the other hand, has a glycemic index of 68 and is defined as having a “high” index.

Honey has a glycemic index of 60 – Brown sugar has a glycemic index of 70.

If your vegan, maple syrup is an alternative to honey. It is also fat-free.

Eating and Cooking With Maple Syrup

Maple syrup can be used for more than just pancakes.

It can be used as an easy replacement for sugar in coffee, tea, and lemonade, as a homemade salad dressing, in baking, in marinades, and on roasted vegetables.

Here are a few recipes that use real Maple syrup.

Balsamic Vinegar Compliments More Than Just a Salad

Balsamic Vinegar Complements More Than Just A Salad

Balsamic vinegar enhances nearly any food it touches as it is so much more than a salad dressing.

You can use balsamic vinegar to marinate meats, glaze roasted vegetables and even as a baking ingredient.

The process of making balsamic vinegar is a more than 900 year old tradition from Italy.

Fennel and Spinach Salad with Shrimp and Balsamic Mustard Vinaigrette

Fennel and Spinach Salad with Shrimp and Balsamic Mustard Vinaigrette

How Balsamic Vinegar Is Made

Balsamic vinegar is made by pressing grapes complete with the stem, seeds, and skin.

The unfermented grape juice, also called “grape must,” is reduced and then cooked down and aged in hard wood barrels either oak, cherry or walnut, to create a delicate flavor that expertly balances both sweet and savory.

Depending on the wood barrels being used, flavor is added to the essence of the balsamic gradually over time.

As it ages, moisture evaporates out, further thickening and concentrating the balsamic.

Balsamic-Honey Glazed Chicken and Asparagus

Balsamic-Honey Glazed Chicken and Asparagus

Traditional Balsamic verses Commercial Made

Many consumers outside of Italy are unaware of the fact that there are two types of balsamic vinegar.

According to Compass and Fork, the balsamic vinegars sold at a local market or gourmet food shops are commercially made vinegar, and even if it says Modena on it, it has not been produced according to the traditional standard.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Figs

Roasted Sweet Potatoes And Figs – with a Balsamic Dressing

To be able to be labelled as a balsamic from Modena, only one step in the process has to be performed and it can be to any quality standard.

Though the bottled balsamic vinegar is sold at moderate pricing, it is only bottled in Modena.

Wine Vinegar Included – Not Traditionally Made

Traditionally produced balsamic vinegar is also protected under labeling laws, with only products made in a particular way and in Modena bearing the Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena label.

How To Use Balsamic Vinegar

There are three basic age groups of balsamic vinegar, and each is used differently:

Group One

The youngest group, 3 to 5 years, is good for salad dressings, dipping sauces for vegetables and bread, sauces and marinades.

Group Two

The middle age group, 6 to 11 years, is more viscous and is quite versatile. Use it in sauces (at the end of cooking), in risotto and pasta dishes, in marinades and mixed with mayonnaise or sour cream for a sandwich condiment.

Group Three

Well-aged balsamic vinegar (12 to 150+ years) is best used after the cooking is finished, and in otherwise mild dishes (nothing spicy or heavily seasoned), so it can shine on its own.

Use it to flavor meat like chicken, steak, fish or veal. It is well-suited to fruit and cheese pairings, such as strawberries, peaches and pears, along with ricotta or feta cheese.

Smoked Bacon And Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Smoked Bacon And Ricotta Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts – with a Balsamic Drizzled over Chicken

It may be enjoyed by itself (just a tiny amount) or added to water (or sparkling water) for a refreshing beverage.

Flavors Infused with Commercially Made Balsamic Vinegar

There are commercially made balsamic vinegars that are infused with different flavors such as but not limit too:

  •  Chile Balsamic Vinegar
  • Garlic Cilantro Balsamic Vinegar
  • Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar
  • White Sesame Ginger Balsamic Vinegar
  • Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar
  • Cranberry Balsamic Vinegar

What Others are saying about Balsamic Vinegar:

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Oven Roasted Gnocchi With Sausage & Peppers

The first known use of gnocchi was in 1891.

Gnocchi is an Italian dumpling. With simple ingredients, like potato flour, water, and eggs.

This dish originates from the Northern part of Italy. Due to the colder Northern Italian climate, potatoes are easier to grow than wheat grain.

Culinary Inventors of the Dumpling

The Chinese are the culinary inventors of the dumpling. Just as long noodles represent longevity, and dumplings represent wealth and prosperity.

At family dumpling-making gatherings on the eve of the new year, a coin may be slipped into a dumpling for good luck.

The little dough balls are usually stuffed with various ingredients from chives and shrimp to pork and cabbage.

Gnocchi verses Dumplings

What is the difference between gnocchi and dumplings?

First of all, the word gnocchi in Italian means “little dumpling.”

A gnocchi is a dumpling. The difference though, is that gnocchi is not stuffed or filled with anything as other types of dumplings are.

Instead of putting a filling inside of the dough, the “filling” ingredients are mixed with the dough, and a ball is formed afterward.

Gnocchi like dumplings can either be steamed, boiled, deep-fried, pan-fried, or roasted in the oven.

Oven Roasted Gnocchi Sausage and Peppers

1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed, crumbled

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 small yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 small orange bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces fresh cherry tomatoes (different colors), sliced in half

One 17.5-ounce package potato gnocchi

1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped

1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed, crumbled

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 small yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 small orange bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces fresh cherry tomatoes (different colors), sliced in half

One 17.5-ounce package potato gnocchi

1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Toss together the oregano, red pepper flakes, garlic, bell peppers, onion, tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper on a sheet pan.

Top with sausage and gently shake the pan a few times to evenly distribute.

Roast in preheated oven until the sausage is cooked through and the vegetables are soft, 18 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss the gnocchi with the Parmesan, remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. 

When sausage is cooked, remove sheet pan and turn the oven to broil.

Sprinkle the gnocchi over the sausage and vegetables and place under broiler until dark golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

Divide among 4 plates and if you wish, sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley or fresh oregano leaves and Parmesan cheese.

Why We Cook

To think about cooking as purely functional would be to look at just one aspect of it. When in fact there are several reasons why we cook.

Cooking makes food more edible and in doing so cuts down on the time it takes to digest it.

Some foods we can eat raw, but there are others that need to be cooked, like meat or eggs for example.

How To Make The Perfect Egg In One Minute

Humankind has been on the earth for thousands of years and throughout the centuries we have learned the art of cooking.

Yes cooking is an art. If you are a professional-cook or not – when you put together different flavors you are creating a dish to satisfy your taste and hunger.

Frequently Asked Questions about Healthy Cooking

The More You Know

We spend just five percent (5%) of our day eating. So make the food you eat count towards a healthier you. Read more here: First Step To Being Healthy


The bottom line is, we have learned through trial and error that some foods need to be cooked.

So again, ever thought while you are preparing something to eat, why you cook it?

Why We Cook

It makes eating food safe, as cooking destroys bacteria, and the toxins they produce.

The food flavors multiple with using heat to cook. The heat browns meat, vegetables, breads, and cakes.

Roasted Root Vegetables with Brussels sprouts and Bacon

Cooking caramelizes sugar and helps herbs and spices to release their locked in flavors in a process known as the Maillard reaction.

Read More Here About Cooking With Herbs – Spices – and Caramelizing Sugar

How To Spice Thngs Up When Cooking
Spanish Flan – recipe and video on How To Carmelize Sugar

Food that has been cooked helps with your digestion as it softens starches and releases foods nutrients.

Roasted Red Potatoes with Garlic Parmesan

Cooked food tastes delicious and brings new textures to food.

Cooking To Gather Family and Friends

You may have heard the expression, make friends by “breaking bread together.”

Research has shown that the ritual of cooking and sharing your cooked food with others is entrenched in our psyche, and it brings family and friends together.

Regularly eating cooked food with others also improves our well-being.

Cooking Supports A Healthy Life Style

Here’s a great response to why we cook.

Julia A. Wolfson, MPP, lead author of a study on home cooking and weight lossat the John Hopkins Center, says if you are trying to lose weight or not, people who cook most of their meals at home, consume fewer carbohydrates, less sugar and less fat than those who cook less or not at all (Study Suggests Home Cooking is a Main Ingredient in Healthier Diet).

According to Civil Eats – The power of a communal meal, or eating together – either it be a Thanksgiving feast, a community potluck, or a dinner-table gathering can build cultural ties and tear down political walls.

So now you know. Let’s get cooking.

Bacon and Spring Pea Risotto

Risotto is a dish that is creamy, scrumptious and filling.

The beauty of preparing risotto is that you can add just about anything you’d like.

You can use various types of vegetables, herbs, and meat. You can make with or without meat.

Risotto is a comfort food, as it is filling, and is a wonderful dish for leftovers.

Risotto can be a side dish (without meat) but it is also often consumed as a complete meal (when prepared with meat).


Pumpkin Pecan Risotto with Dried Cranberries and Goat Cheese


Unlike other rice that is left in a pot of water to boil, risotto rice requires constant attention to ensure a perfectly finished dish.

The rice is not to be pre-rinsed, boiled, or drained, as washing would remove much of the starch required for a creamy texture.

When Arborio rice is cooked slowly with stock (usually chicken or vegetable stock) it allows the amylopectin starch to be released.

As a result, the rice takes on a smooth, creamy texture.

A 1/3 cup of uncooked Arborio rice (used in preparing risotto) has about 166 calories.

Bacon and Spring Pea Risotto

4 pieces bacon

1/2 yellow onion, diced

2 cups arborio rice

4 cups chicken stock, hot

1 cup frozen peas and carrots

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Zest of 1 lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Cut bacon into small bite-sized pieces. Add to a large, deep, skillet and cook until crispy. Remove from pan to cool.

Drain most of the bacon grease, leaving about 1 Tbsp. in the pan. Add diced onions and cook on low heat until translucent.

Turn heat to medium and add uncooked rice to the pan. Stir to coat in bacon grease.

Add 1 cup hot chicken stock, reduce heat to low and stir while rice absorbs the liquid. Once it’s absorbed, add another 1 cup and repeat until all the liquid is gone and rice is tender.

This process should take about 20 minutes.

Next, add to tender rice frozen peas and carrots, lemon zest, cilantro and bacon. Mix in well.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve warm.

Microgreens Another Source Of Great Nutrition – with recipes

Microgreens are young vegetable greens that fall somewhere between sprouts and baby leaf vegetables.

Sprouts are technically the newly germinated seeds, while the microgreens are the 1-2 week-old youngster seedlings.

Sprouts grow more like a fungus, as they are provided with high humidity, an enclosed area, and a low light environment.

Whereas, microgreens grow more like a plant. It absorbs nutrients directly from the seed, soil, or nutrients added to water (if grown hypotonic) and light (photosynthesis).

Hydroponic grown microgreens
Hydroponic Grown Microgreens

Microgreens are rich in potassium, zinc, magnesium, iron, and copper – all of which are essential nutrients for the health of your body.

According to studies that have been conducted on microgreens, they contain up to 40 times more nutrients compared to their fully mature counterparts.

This means that you can get the right amounts of nutrients that you need for optimal health by just adding a few microgreens servings into your diet.

What Do Mircrogreens Taste Like

As noted above, these tiny and edible greens that grow from vegetable and herb seeds pack a nutritional punch and are absolutely delicious.

Generally speaking, microgreens have an intense aromatic flavor.

Here is a small list of the most popular microgreens grown out of over 100 varieties and their description of taste.

• Alfalfa – Mild, nutty, crunchy, pea-like taste

• Arugula – Nutty, peppery

• Broccoli – Mild, crunchy, dense, slightly bitter

• Clover – Mild earthy, nutty, crunchy, juicy

• Cress – Peppery, tangy

• Daikon Radish – Strong, Peppery

Daikon radish microgreen
Daikon Radish Microgreen

• Dun pea – Slight sweet, crunchy, robust flavor

• Kale – Mild, subtly sweet, broccoli-like taste

• Kohlrabi – Mild, sweet

• Lentils – Mild bitter, pea-like taste

• Mung bean – Mild bean taste, slight buttery

• Wheatgrass – Mild sweet, bitter, grassy

How To Use Microgreens

Apart from their nutrition, microgreens also give plated dishes visual appeal that is as a result of their delicateness and vibrancy.

Asian Pear Carrot and Daikon Radish Salad with Microgreens

Microgreens are not only important in giving your dish an appealing look, but also adds taste and texture to the plated food.

Microgreens can be used as a sandwich stuffer, with wraps, burritos, salads, soups, topped on fried or scrambled eggs, and used in smoothies among many other uses.

Pastrami Sandwich with Microgreens

Easy To Grow Year Round

The best part about growing microgreens is their ability to grow all year-round. You can grow them anywhere, whether you want to grow them indoors or in your garden.

Since you can grow them anywhere, you don’t have to wait for the right weather to set in so you can start growing them.

During summer, you can grow your microgreens anywhere as long as there is enough natural sunlight.

During the cooler seasons where sunlight hours are limited and temperatures drop below 40 degrees, you sprout the seeds in your home using a grow light to help them thrive.

Pumpkin Pecan Risotto With Dried Cranberries & Goat Cheese

Despite its appearance, risotto is not a type of rice but rather an Italian dish made with a special high-starch short-grain rice.

Which includes the Arborio, Carnaroli and the Vialone Nano rice.

The Rices Used To Make A Risotto

This special type of rice can absorb quite a bit of liquid without becoming mushy.

A basic risotto is particularly prepared with Arborio rice, bone broth, shallots, butter and salt.

Once you have the basics, you can add just about any other food that you would like.

This risotto includes dried cranberries, pecans, Parmesan cheese, nutmeg, goat cheese, and Italian parsley.

The History Of Risotto

The history of how Risotto became an Italian dish is quit simple.

The story of risotto begins in the 14th century B.C. with the Arabs bringing rice to Sicily and Spain during their rule.

Rice Fields In Northern Italy

Italy was the ideal place to grow short-grain rice due to the humid weather and abundant flat land.

Till today, the Po Valley (Italy) is one of the largest rice producers in Europe and rice is eaten extensively throughout northern Italy.

Making A Risotto Is Not Time Consuming

Making a risotto with any of the rices we noted at the start of reading this article, takes as long as cooking an Asian rice or Mexican rice.

But the difference is, it is hands on from start to finish. Which is about 20 to 25 minutes. And I will say, It is worth it.

If you prepare a risotto the right way, or in other words, follow the recipe, you will have a creamy delicious risotto.

Pumpkin Pecan Risotto with Dried Cranberries and Goat Cheese

• 4 cups bone broth (or vegetable stock)

• 1 cup canned pumpkin puree

• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

• 1 shallot (minced)

• 1 teaspoon kosher salt

• 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

• 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice

• 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar red

• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

• 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

• 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

• Fresh ground black pepper

• 1 cup crumbled goat cheese

• 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Instructions

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the stock and pumpkin over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to low. Cover and keep warm.

Melt the butter in a large dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat. Once the foaming subsides, add the shallot and salt.

Cook until softened, 2-3 minutes. Add the thyme and rice and cook for one minute longer.

Add the white wine vinegar and a ladle of warm stock and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated. Add another ladle of stock, and continue cooking until evaporated again.

Continue cooking, adding a ladle of stock at a time, and allowing to evaporate in between each addition. Cook until the rice is done, but has a bite to it, it should be creamy in texture, and will take about 20-25 minutes.

Mix in the parmesan, half of the parsley, and nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with the remaining parsley, goat cheese and dried cranberries. Serve immediately.