Recipes

Learning Risotto

I have a crazy job that I absolutely love. But sometimes it involves 12 hour days and sometimes it involves 8 hour days that just feel really long. So, basically, here it is. I don’t want to cook when I come home from work. I just don’t want to. I want to come home, drop my bag (maybe go to the gym if I’m feeling motivated) and eat dinner. I don’t want to stand over the stove for an hour making some crazy dish. More power to the people who do that, I’m just not one of them.

I try to cook a big dish on Sunday that I can have leftovers. I’m a big fan of anything that can be made in a crockpot (Santa brought me one for Christmas). And if the dish can be split and frozen, even better. But I decided I should actually try cracking open my cookbooks or looking online for new recipes.

This week, I tried risotto. I’ve never had risotto before. I didn’t even really know what was in it until about two weeks ago when I started googling recipes. My parents got me a subscription to Bon Appetit and the BA Foodist had suggested to a student who wrote in to learn to master risotto. So, I googled.

The result was a recipe from the Washington Post that contained apples and sausage. I like both of those things, so I figured we had a winner.

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  • 3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon mild olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 8 ounces mild sausage, casings removed
  • 1 small onion, cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch dice (about 1 cup)
  • 2 medium crisp apples, such as Granny Smith, Jonathan or Cortland, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 cup Arborio or risotto-style rice
  • 1/2 to 1 cup warm apple cider, as needed
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the chicken broth just until it comes to a boil, then reduce the heat to low to keep the broth warm.

While the chicken broth is heating, heat the oil in a large (at least 4-quart) pot over medium-high heat. Add the sausage, breaking it up with a spoon. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring, until the sausage has lost its raw look and is starting to brown. Add the onion and apples and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they soften and start to take on color. Add the rice, stirring to combine. Add 1 cup of the warm chicken broth and stir continuously until the liquid is almost fully absorbed; then add the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously and allowing the liquid to be absorbed each time before adding more.

When all the broth has been incorporated, add 1/2 cup of the apple cider. When that is absorbed, taste the rice for doneness. If it is still too firm, add the remaining 1/2 cup of cider. When the risotto looks creamy and the rice is slightly firm to the bite, it’s done.

Remove from heat and stir in parmesan. Serve immediately.

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MY REACTION

Yum! I can’t even explain what it tasted like with the combination of pork, apples, onion and chicken broth mixing together. It looks like giant mush though. And since I don’t know what risotto is supposed to look/taste like, I may have completely screwed up and just don’t know it.

Making it is a freaking pain though. I thought my wrist was going to fall off from all the stirring the dish requires. And I would say budget about an hour to make it, even though the Washington Post says 40. You have to dice onions and apples, which takes a while. Plus, you have to continuously stir the recipe as your making it. Stretching prior to cooking is not required although may be advisable.

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2 thoughts on “Learning Risotto

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