Tonight I did something that is becoming easier to accomplish, and that is making risotto. Yes, it’s a little time consuming, but now that I’ve figured out how to “do it”, I enjoy the process. The fun part is concocting flavors that work. I discovered a few with this dish that worked well. My goal is to make one different risotto each month through the fall and winter.
I love sausage in general and I worked with both sweet and hot Italian sausage. I took the sausage out of the casing and broke into bits. I then threw in fresh thyme, oregano and some basil, along with onions and garlic. The kitchen smelled absolutely wonderful and savory. At this point, I added the mushrooms I had on hand. Shittake, crimini, basic white buttons and another kind (not sure what they were!) and cooked those down, too.
I think I worked somewhat backwards, but after about 10 minutes of gently cooking this down, I realized I didn’t have any Madeira wine, so I Googled for substitutes…thanks Kitchen Savvy! That lead me to scavenging my bar cabinet, which led me to finding a bottle of port….which lead me to deglazing a bit….which led me to more flavors. I added the port (about 1 cup?) and let that reduce a bit. Then I added some reduced balsamic vinegar I had (maybe a tablespoon or so). Cooked that down a bit more to reduce.
Gave it a taste and was satisfied, so I moved onto the “labor” part of the risotto making. I had a pot of chicken stock heated up and ready for adding to the risotto. I first added 1 cup of Arborio (I use the 365 brand from Whole Foods, found I like the packaging, go figure) to my now season stock pot with much less butter than called for. Sauteed for 2 minutes or so, then added more port and reduced balsamic. Cooked that down a bit, then began adding the stock.
25 minutes later, I had dinner ready. Served up the risotto with fresh greens and a honey/mustard/herb vinaigrette. Also, a small glass of wine. A very fine, satisfying end to a fun food making process. Enjoy!