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.


  • 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.



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.



  1. Pingback: Sausage Stuffed Zucchini « More Than Easy Mac
  2. christine · August 2, 2010


    I like this blog. And this is a lovely risotto recipe as well. If you wont mind I’d love to guide Foodista readers to your post. Just add the foodista widget to the end of this post so it will appear in the Foodista pages and it’s all set, Thanks!

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