Monday, December 7, 2009

Oignons avec Larmes

I cried twice while making this dish.

Once was due to the fresh onion I was chopping that began the tears, and the next was as I crumbled the sausage into the pot as I commenced the actual cooking of the risotto. What is a better dish to make when you need to keep busy and away from your thoughts than the laborious risotto? I would recommend making risotto to anyone feeling heartache. The preparation alone took over two hours and helped me focus on something else besides the pain, let alone the constant stirring that was required once I actually got to the step of preparing the rice. It was nice for a change for something else to be stirring besides my thoughts and emotions in heartbreak.

Although I would qualify risotto as typical tailgating food, the sausage in it made it qualify as a dish to have on a football Sunday. I spent a few evenings last week searching for a risotto that was rated highly as well as time consuming, and this fit the criteria perfectly. I would change very little about the recipe, but I would recommend using half sweet and half spicy sausage instead of all sweet (I had to add red pepper flakes in the end) and perhaps think about going healthier and use chicken sausage. The dish came out perfectly creamy and I served it with a red blend of cabernet, zinfandel, and merlot (I am a huge fan of blends) that was appropriately named Menage a Trois.

The threesome at my stove - me, the pot, and the spoon - did not escape tear free, but we did manage to pull it together in the end and enjoy.

Italian Sausage and Wild Mushroom Risotto (courtesy of Bon Appetit)


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound Italian sweet sausage, casings removed, crumbled into 1/2-inch pieces (I would use half spicy next time)
8 ounces portobello mushrooms, stemmed, dark gills scraped out, caps diced
10 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, diced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (I used dried)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano (I used dried)
1 1/2 cups Madeira (I used Sherry)

6 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups arborio rice or other medium-grain rice (about 13 ounces)
1 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese (I used parmesan)

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and sauté until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add all mushrooms, thyme, and oregano and sauté until mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup Madeira; boil until almost absorbed, about 1 minute. Set aside.

Bring stock to simmer in large saucepan; remove from heat and cover to keep hot. Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add rice; stir 2 minutes. Add remaining 1 cup Madeira; simmer until absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup hot stock; simmer until almost absorbed, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook until rice is just tender and mixture is creamy, adding more stock by cupfuls, stirring often and allowing most stock to be absorbed before adding more, about 25 minutes. Stir in sausage mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl. Pass cheese separately.


Laura @ Hungry and Frozen said...

This sounds seriously wonderful...I completely agree with you that risotto is a very soothing dish to make when you've got something heavy on your mind. Hope your tears didn't make the risotto too salty!! :)

Foodycat said...

That's a really wonderful-sounding risotto. I agree with your idea that some spicy sausage would be a good addition.

Lola Koundakjian said...

I would try this one as I've never made risotto at home.