Friday, November 7, 2014

Sausage and Apple Risotto

Last weekend was the first truly cold couple of days that we've had since last winter, which on one hand is really nice because I hate the cold. But on the other, I do miss those crisp fall days. In Richmond, autumn seems to last a week or two before we descend into winter, so we definitely like to take advantage. Which leads me to this dish: Sausage and Apple Risotto, which I found on a blog called Buttercup and Bourbon. I'm not sure if you could have a more "fall" dish. It's hearty and warm, and the addition of apple just takes me straight to autumn back home in Indiana. It could not be a more comforting meal. So get out a blanket, build a fire, and curl up in a chair with this dish.

I will say that if we made this again there are a few things we might change and I'm incorporating those changes into the recipe below. There didn't seem to be enough broth, and therefore the rice was still a little too al dente by the time we finished, so I've increased the amount. We also would prefer a little heat (shocker!) so next time I would use hot sausage instead of regular.

5 cups chicken broth
8 ounces mild pork sausage (or hot!)
1 small onion, diced
2 medium crisp apples, diced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 to 1 cup apple cider

Shaved Parmesan cheese, for serving

Start by heating your chicken broth and keeping it at a simmer. In another small saucepan, simmer the apple cider as well. In a large skillet, start cooking the sausage, breaking it apart as you go. Once it's just begun to brown, add in the onions and apples and cook for about 7 minutes, until the onions soften. Add in the rice and thyme, and toast for just a minute before adding in your first cup of broth. Stir until the liquid is absorbed before adding another half cup of broth. Keep adding the broth a half cup at a time, letting the rice absorb the liquid between additions. It should go quickly at first, and more slowly as you go on. Make sure to keep the heat medium so you aren't boiling away the liquid.

Once the broth has been incorporated, add in a half cup of the cider and let that soak in. Taste and if the rice is not yet where you like it (too al dente) add the rest of the cider and stir until it's absorbed. Season with salt and pepper (we didn't really need it since the sausage is salty). Serve and enjoy this little taste of fall! 

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