I was 35 weeks pregnant with my third when we moved hours from the town that had been our home for years. All my friends were still in Provo and I missed them terribly. I was so pregnant and tired which meant I didn’t want to get out tons. My husband had just started a new job which meant he was working tons. I’ve never been a TV-watcher, but in the weeks after the move, before the baby came, I found myself watching Hell’s Kitchen on Hulu. It’s a typical reality show with lots of drama, swearing, and tears but with cooking mixed in; not my normal cup of tea but I watched it nonetheless. On that show they cook risotto all of the time and normally they mess it up. I’ll be honest, I didn’t even know what risotto was, but the show introduced it to me and made me curious. After some research I decided it was something I would love – I was right.
Risotto is delicious. If you’ve never made it I think you should try it. Rice is sauteed in butter and garlic and then stock is added and the rice is stirred while cooking. The starch in the rice comes out of the grain and combines with the stock to make a thick and creamy sauce. There are lots of varieties and things that you can add. This recipe is wonderfully hearty and rich. I served it as a main dish but it would also be a delicious side.
Am I the only one who didn’t know what risotto was? If you’ve had it, how were you introduced to it? Have you made it? Happy cooking!
- 5 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 3 sprigs fresh herbs (basil, oregano, or thyme) (optional)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 pound Jimmy Dean sausage
- 1 pound white button mushrooms, washed and sliced
- 2 cups medium-grain risotto rice
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 1/2 pound asparagus, stemmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- shaved or shredded Parmesan for garnish
- In a medium sauce pan bring the chicken stock and fresh herbs to a low simmer.
- While the stock is heating add the olive oil to a medium stock pot and heat over medium to medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the sausage to the onion and cook until no longer pink, breaking the sausage into pieces with a spoon. When the sausage is cooked through reduce the heat to medium and add the mushrooms and rice.
- Cook until the rice starts to get translucent on the edges, 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- When the rice is translucent on the edges, add a ladle full of hot stock (avoid adding the herbs that are swimming in the stock) to the rice (about 3/4 cup) and stir gently but constantly until all of the liquid is absorbed.
- Add another ladle full when liquid is absorbed and keep stirring. Keep repeating this procedure until you have about 1 1/2 cups of stock left (it took me around 18 minutes to get to this point).
- Add the apple juice and asparagus and then continue adding stock and stirring until the rice is cooked through but not mushy.
- It took me just under 30 minutes of stirring and adding stock to cook my rice and I had just over a 1/2 cup of stock left over.
- When the rice is cooked, remove it from the heat and stir in the shredded Parmesan.
- Serve right away with additional Parmesan on top.
- The stirring process takes some time and you can’t really walk away from the dish at this point. Plan accordingly.The amount of liquid you will use and the cook time will vary depending on the weather and your rice, just test the done-ness of the rice along the way.
- Category: dinner
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: risotto, asparagus, rice, sausage