Pumpkin – Shiitake mushroom Risotto with Shrimp

** Recipe adapted from Cooking Light **

I have found that risottos adapt marvelously to the trail, especially rich-flavored ones with a bit of gratuitous fat!  This is another great example.


3 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1/2 cup water

2 slices bacon

2 cups sliced shiitake mushroom caps

1 1/2 cups chopped onion

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 cup uncooked Arborio rice

2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage

1C peeled raw shrimp, 30-50 count, cut in half or thirds

1/2 cup dry white wine (I use inexpensive cooking wine)

1/2 teaspoon salt (I use good sea salt)

1 cup canned pumpkin puree (can substitute home-cooked pumpkin or winter squash)

2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

To prepare the recipe, in your home kitchen:

Heat the stock with the water in a medium saucepan and hold at a low simmer.

Meanwhile, fry the bacon until crisp, then add the onion, garlic and sage and saute on medium heat until the onion is softened.  Add the dry arborio rice to the pan with the raw shrimp and shiitake mushrooms and stir until moistened, and then add the wine.  Cook, stirring, until the wine is absorbed.  Then add the hot stock to the pan with the rice mixture about 3/4C at a time, stirring constantly until the liquid is absorbed before adding the next shot.  Once all the moisture has been absorbed, turn off the heat and add the pumpkin and mascarpone, salt, chives and red pepper.  Adjust the seasoning to taste.

To prepare the leftovers for the dehydrator, puree them briefly in the food processor until the pieces are small and fairly uniform.  Measure out the number of 1.5-2C servings that will fit on each dehydrator tray (you’ll need to use the solid plastic ‘fruit leather’ tray for this) and spread the mixture on the tray, in a uniform layer no more than 1/2 inch thick.  Run the dehydrator overnight and check the mixture for completeness of drying in the morning.  If the mixture doesn’t crumble into dry pieces but feels slightly wet, break it up and re-spread it onto the mesh trays before you go to work.  It will be ready for packaging when you get home.  To package, pulse the dry mixture in the food processor to break up the chunks, and then measure out the dried servings into individual zip-loc bags based on your pre-drying measurements (how many servings went onto each tray).  Make a little tag to go in the bag with what the food is, how many servings, and how much water to add back to each serving.

At camp, bring water to a boil or near-boil and add it to the zip-loc (or put the food and the already-heated water into a pot or mug to rehydrate), in an amount that brings the serving back up to the original hydrated volume.  Wrap in a cozy or aluminum foil to keep it hot (that will speed the rehydration), and wait 10-15 minutes.  If it’s still a little crunchy, wait a bit longer.  If it’s a bit too dry, you can add a bit more hot water.  Then enjoy, right out of the bag, mug or pot!

Calorie Planning Stats

Food Serving (gms) Serving (lbs) Calories Carbs (gms) Fiber (gms) Fat (gms) Protein (gms) Cals/Gm % Nutritive   Weight* % Carbs % Fats % Protein
2C serving of risotto (dry) 68 0.1 228 40 2 5 8 3.4 76% 74% 9% 16%

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