Monday, August 30, 2010

Italian Sausage, Red Pepper and Mushroom Risotto

Risotto is one of those foods that I just can’t live without. Put me on a deserted island (or better yet, a dessert-ed island) somewhere and I think I’d really need pasta & or Arborio rice, parmesan cheese and heavy cream to survive. I feel about risotto the way the clichéd woman feels about chocolate. Happy Anniversary, darling. I brought you some rice cooked in wine to show how much I care. :Swoon:
This risotto has quickly become on of my very favorites in my repertoire for a few reasons. First, of course, it’s amazing. The flavors meld so beautifully. And second, it’s a typical side dish made into a hearty comfort-food-ish main dish. And I can say from experience that it makes amazing cold leftovers- my favorite.
And because chicken sausage has quickly stormed into my heart, too, I make this with Italian chicken sausage to make it ever so slightly healthier (or as healthy as rice cooked in wine covered in cheese can be)
Italian Sausage, Red Pepper & Mushroom Risotto
printable recipe
5 cups chicken broth
2 Tablespoons butter
8 ounces Italian sausage, casing removed, or ground sausage, broken up
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
4 ounces white button mushrooms, coarsely chopped (I often use baby bellas since they’re what I tend to already have on hand)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
Directions: Simmer the broth in a medium saucepan. Cover and keep warm.
Melt the butter in a large heavy saucepan. Crumble the sausage into the pan and saute until golden. Add the onion, bell pepper and mushrooms to the pan and saute until tender, scraping the bottom of the pan while stirring, about 8 minutes.
Add the rice and stir to coat, about a minute.
Pour the wine into the pan and bring to a simmer. Once the liquid has nearly absorbed, about 2 minutes, add in a half-cup of the chicken broth. Stir frequently until almost all of the liquid has absorbed. Continue adding the chicken broth, 1/2 cup at a time, letting the liquid nearly completely absorb between additions. Stir frequently.
After about 25 minutes the rice will be tender and creamy. Remove from the heat and stir in 3/4 of the parmesan. Transfer to a serving bowl, sprinkle with parsley and the remaining cheese. Serve.
Source: Brown Eyed Baker

Other favorite risotto recipes:
Chicken Marsala Risotto
Garlic Parmesan Risotto
One Year Ago on Laura’s Recipe Collection: Spinach Feta Pizza

Friday, August 20, 2010

Rosemary and Garlic White Bean Dip

white bean dip
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting up with some local food bloggers. (Trust me, locals, I was as shocked as you that there was more than, oh, 2 of us around here). Our hostess with the mostest for the evening was Maggie of Dog Hill Kitchen. She selected a light summery tapas-style theme for the evening and served, among other yummy snacks, the best beef short ribs I’ve ever had in the form of sliders. (P.S. Maggie? I’m still daydreaming over those babies. I have GOT to make those!) We also had Angela of Notes From a Country Girl Living In the City who brought some really awesome strawberry balsamic jam to serve on a loaf of rustic bread and Shayne of Fruitcake or Nuts who brought potato topped with herbs & pickled herring and some red pepper dip that I desperately need the recipe for.  I brought along this Rosemary & Garlic White Bean dip along with Garlic Feta Dip (one of my favorite things EVER).
Not surprising, when you leave a party of food bloggers, you don’t leave hungry. The food was incredible. Plus it was great to get together with people who wouldn’t bat an eye or think it was weird if you were to say “Wait! Before we eat this I have to take a pretty picture”. :)

Rosemary and Garlic White Bean Dip printable recipe

1/4  cup  olive oil, divided
2  cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2  cans (15 oz. each) white beans, drained and rinsed
2  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
2  teaspoons  kosher salt
3  sprigs fresh rosemary, rinsed
Sauté the garlic in 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium pan until fragrant. Be careful not to brown the garlic.
Combine the beans, lemon juice and kosher salt in a food processor. Add in the garlic & oil and wipe the pan clean. Puree until smooth.
Combine the remaining olive oil with the rosemary in the pan and stir just until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Remove the heat and set aside the rosemary.
Pour the rosemary oil over the bean dip. Mince 1 teaspoon of the rosemary and sprinkle over the top of the dip.
Serve at room temperature.
Source: MyRecipes