When I first prepared this dish, I had no intention of writing a recipe for it. But, as the saying goes ‘the best things happen by accident’…One evening, not too long ago, I came home famished. Looking for something that could be prepared quickly; I came upon rice and pumpkin. In the freezer was shrimp and frozen chicken. Since it takes less than10 minutes to thaw frozen shrimp in a bowl of cold water, this was a no brainer. 30 minutes later I was enjoying a flavor filled dish of creamy garlicy flavored Pumpkin Rice loaded with plump shrimps, onions and bell peppers. Since then, I have made this dish a few times for some very satisfied fans with no leftovers to spare. The recipe follows.
1 small onion, chopped small
¼ pound pumpkin (calbaza squash), chopped small
3 cloves garlic, chopped small
2 Tablespoons butter
1½ teaspoons salt
1 cup rice
1½ cup water (add more if needed)
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 sprig thyme (½ teaspoon dried leaves)
½ small bell pepper
½ pound medium shrimp (31- 40 count)
While the shrimp thaws. Chop onion, pumpkin and garlic. In a small to medium sized saucepan sauteed the pumpkin, onion, and garlic with butter and salt. Stir in the rice cover and saute for an additional 2 minutes, until rice is coated. Add 2 cups of water reduce heat to medium low. Partly cover pot and let rice simmer for 15 minutes. While rice cooks shell and rinse shrimp. Remove lid and fluff rice with a fork.
Rice should be tender and all liquid absorbed. If need add ¼ cup water and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Stir in bell peppers, thyme, black pepper, and shrimp. Raise heat to medium and let simmer for about 7 minutes. Enjoy alone or with a green salad.