Monday, April 30, 2012

Risotto with a quick twist

Sometimes, there isn't enough time for full risotto. Translation: Sometimes I don't want to eat at 8:30 p.m.

Good news is, you can cook up arborio rice without the stirring. Twice the amount of water as rice and away you go, creating risotto out of components instead of the usual slog of stirring. About a half hour later, you have dinner. And a side. And a night to yourself, with a glass of wine to forget that it's Monday and that there are four more days of work ahead...

Smoked sausage risotto

I used turkey kielbasa for this -- works just as well as the regular, and less cholesterol.

1 turkey kielbasa sausage
1/4 cup arborio rice
1 cup water
1/2 cup white wine (chardonnay)
1 T. olive oil
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t. greek seasoning
Kosher salt and pepper
1/2 cup shredded monterey jack cheese

You'll need two pans for this -- a smaller saucepan and a larger saute pan.

In the smaller sauce pan, bring the cup of water to boil, with some kosher salt. Once it boils, add the arborio rice, and stir 30 seconds to a minute. Cover tightly, and turn to low. Let simmer 18 minutes.

Chop vegetables. In separate large saute pan, toss olive oil, onion, red bell pepper and garlic. Saute about 5 minutes.

After 18 minutes is done, add sauteed vegetables to small saucepan along with wine. Cover and turn to medium low.

Slice sausage into 1/2-in. slices. Add sausage to the now-empty large saute pan. Turn to medium and brown on each side. Once browned, add rice and vegetable mixture back into saute pan. Season with Greek seasoning, salt and pepper. If dry, add a bit more wine. Turn to low and let simmer.

Turn off heat. Add cheese and stir. Serve with steamed vegetables as a side. Enjoy!

Note: Almost all the dishes I make have leftovers. Not this one -- you may want to double the rice portion, at least, if you're serving more than two adults.

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