I had a really nice Mother’s day with my family yesterday. We played Bananagrams, did a little bird watching and I made dinner for my parents. For anyone who knows my mom, mushrooms are easily one of her favorite ingredients (and the apple does not fall far from the tree in that respect.) I wanted to make something special that would really showcase the mushrooms and this definitely did the trick.
Risotto (arborio rice) is inherently gluten free, being in the rice family and not the wheat family BUT like all things it seems you still need to thoroughly read labels or do some online research. This is the case with pretty much everything when weeding out gluten. Even chicken broth can have it, which was unexpected to me. Regarding the sausage- ask your local butcher or if buying prepackaged make sure to closely read the label. Anywho- here we go mushroom and sausage risotto MMM. You will need:
3 chicken sausage links, casing removed
1 lb sliced cremini mushrooms
1/4 tsp dried thyme
4 tbs olive oil
1/2 white onion, diced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
5-6 cups chicken broth
2 tbs butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
In a stock pot add the chicken broth and set on low heat to warm it up. In a second pot add the sausage on medium high heat and brown, crumbling the meat as it cooks. Once cooked set aside in a bowl.
Add 2 tbs olive oil to the pan. Add in the mushrooms, thyme and a few shakes of salt an pepper. Cook until the mushrooms are soft and set aside with juices in the bowl with the sausage.
Add 2 tbs of olive oil to the pan on medium high heat and add the diced onion sautéing until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and let cook for about 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid sticking and burning.
Now comes the work. This step is the most labor intensive part but some reason I find it fun. There 3 things that need to be done here constant stirring, liquid addition and liquid absorption. First add the white wine, string until absorbed by the rice. Now you are going to add the broth one half cup at a time, stirring, stirring, stirring until absorbed and then add the next half cup. Once you have used 4 cups of broth start tasting the rice after each 1/2 cup addition. You want the grain to retain some texture without being too hard but definitely not being mushy.
Here is a picture (as best I could get) of what I usually do to confirm that the rice has absorbed enough liquid. If there isn’t much or any broth coming out when you scrape across the bottom with a spatula you should be good to go.
Once the rice has reached the desired texture, deliciously creamy with a bit of bite, add the mushrooms and sausage back in. Stir the well into the rice and add in the butter an Parmesan. Serve hot.
If the dish is successful Your entire families plates will look like this… After second helpings 😉