Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Risotto with Brussels Sprouts, Sausage and Feta

You know what I love? Risotto. Especially the muy rico kind that my friend Charlotte makes that has tons of Italian sausage, parmesan, butter, and wine. Yum.

You know what's not half bad? Makeshift risotto incorporating those CSA brussels sprouts you cooked and froze last fall, a bit of the white wine that you happen to be drinking at 4 p.m. during your daughter's third nap of the day, the smoked chicken sausages that you always have on hand for makeshift meals just like this here one in question, and of course feta, because feta kind of makes everything better.

If you were going to make this tomorrow, you might also add juice from half of one of those lemons in your refrigerator.

I sure would.

Otherwise it's pretty darn good as written. A good weeknight meal, easily modifiable in order to use up whatever vegetables you have in that freezer of yours.

Just don't skip the sausage. Unless you're using bacon instead.

Risotto with Brussels Sprouts, Sausage, and Feta
Cake and Edith Original
Yield: 6 servings

1 medium red onion or 2 shallots, coarsely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 cup white wine
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon bouquet garni or other dried herb mix
salt & pepper
2 cups arborio rice
2 more tablespoons butter or olive oil
2 cups brussels sprouts, fresh or frozen and thawed
½ pound smoked chicken sausage, preferably an herby kind, like sage, cut crosswise and sliced
2 oz feta

In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute red onion in 2 tablespoons of butter or oil until soft. Add minced garlic, dried herbs, ½ teaspoon salt and a good amount of freshly ground pepper and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add white wine, increase heat if necessary to bring it to a quick boil, and then simmer for about 3-5 minutes, until the wine has reduced by about half. Add arborio rice and 2 cups of the broth and stir for about a minute. Let mixture come to boil and let it simmer for about 20 minutes, adding additional broth whenever the rice starts to look dry. If you ultimately need more liquid than 3 cups to reach your preferred consistency, use more broth if you have it or just add water, about ¼ cup at a time, stirring the mixture and scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon each time you add more liquid.

Meanwhile, once the rice has been simmering for about ten minutes, put your other 2 tablespoons of butter or oil in a large skillet. Saute the brussels sprouts and sausage in the butter over high heat until both are warmed through and browning a bit, about 6-8 minutes.

Once rice is cooked through and the consistency of the risotto is to your liking, pour the risotto into a large serving bowl. Add the browned brussels sprouts and sausage to the bowl and crumble the feta cheese on top. Serve as is or garnish with freshly chopped parsley.

This is good the first day but even better the second. To reheat leftovers that have dried out a bit, sprinkle with a little water or broth before placing in microwave.

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