Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Comfort Food

One of the ultimate comfort food dishes for me is Risotto.  It is so creamy and delicious and seems so hard to make but is so simple that it is a weeknight meal for my family.  Cooking with a two year old in mind is not always easy but I have found that this is a dish he will eat most of the time. 

Chicken Sausage Risotto

1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup white wine (you can skip this if you want)
5-6 cups chicken stock/broth
1 lb chicken sausage (I found some with sun dried tomatoes & moz cheese in them)
1 lb sliced portabella mushrooms
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves
Few slices of sun dried tomatoes (left overs from another meal, don't make a special trip for these)
1 cup frozen peas
Fresh Parsley
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon butter

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil.  Add mushrooms and chicken sausage.  Cook till nicely browned.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Add a little more olive oil and heat onions till soft.  Add garlic.  Add rice, toast rice for approximately one minute.  Add wine, cook till it is all absorbed. Then start adding chicken stock 1/2 cup at a time.  Don't add more till the previous addition is fully absorbed into the rice mixture.  Most recipes will say that you need to stir constantly, I don't find that it is necessary to stir constantly (who can do that when there are children in the house) but just be sure to stir it a lot and frequently.  This step will take approximately 30 minutes.  Once the rice is  fully cooked to your liking, add in the tomatoes, mushroom & chicken sausage, and peas.  Stir in butter (gives it a nice rich flavor).  Add Parsley and Parmesan right before serving.  This will serve approximately 4 hungry people (I usually serve risotto with some nice crusty bread and butter).

This is a meal that I make when I have leftovers to use up.  In this case I wanted to use up some sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, peas and some old wine.  You could skip items if you don't have them or use other items that you do have. This is one of those meal I use to "clean out the fridge". It also makes as a great lunch for the next day.

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