Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Creamy Cauliflower Risotto with Kielbasa and Mushrooms

Copyright 2008 by Cooking With The Single Guy

2 cups of cauliflower florets
1 kielbasa sausage, precooked (about 3 oz.), cut into small chunks
5 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
½ sweet onion, diced
1 cup Arborio rice
1 small glass of dry white wine
1-1/2 cups of chicken broth (or 14 oz. can)
¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese (or Parmigiano Reggiano)
¼ cup heavy cream (or low-fat half-and-half)
1 garlic clove, minced
2 T unsalted butter
olive oil
sea salt to taste

In a medium saucepan, warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat and add onion and garlic. Cook for about two minutes until onions are translucent, making sure not to brown the garlic. Add rice and stir with onions, letting the heat toast the rice for about a minute. Turn heat to medium and add wine and cook until most of it evaporates. Then start adding in the broth, using a ladle to add two scoops of broth (about ¾ cup) to start. Toss in all the cauliflower that you’ve cut into florets and the sausage pieces. Continue cooking for about 15 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon and adding two ladles of broth along the way as the broth gets absorbed, until rice is al dente, or almost done. In a separate sauté pan, warm a tablespoon of olive oil and then add sliced mushrooms and sauté for about two minutes to sweat the mushrooms and get some of the moisture ou t (adding a dash of salt will help extract the moisture from the mushrooms). When done, stir the mushrooms into your risotto.

Remove saucepan from the fire and stir in butter and cheese. Then stir in cream a little at a time until the risotto is as creamy as you like. Add salt to your taste. Let it sit for about a minute, then plate up your risotto. Garnish with more parmesan shavings and something green like some diced Italian parsley.

Makes two servings. Serve with small green salad.

Pair with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

TIPS: Warming your broth and setting it on the side to use while cooking your risotto will make sure your risotto has consistent heat throughout the cooking process. Be patient: Don’t feel tempted to add all the broth in at once. You’ll end up making soup because the rice won’t be able to slowly absorb the tasty broth. Also, you may not need to use all the broth or you may run out. If your risotto looks ready with a nice creamy texture, then don’t bother adding any more broth. If you run out of broth and it looks like your risotto still needs more time to cook, add some water. You’ll make up for the taste with some salt for seasoning later.

REVIEW OF RISOTTO: Risotto rice makes this dish unique with its short grain and creamy texture. So you can’t substitute it with the typical long-grain rice or even Japanese sushi rice. But you do have choices. There are three main Italian rice to make risotto: Arborio, Carnaroli and Vialone Nano. Arborio is the one most widely available outside of Italy and can be easily found in any grocery store. It consistently cooks in 15 minutes and produces a nice cream. Bu t don’t be afraid to experiment with Carnaroli and Vialone Nano if you spot them on a gourmet store shelf. They both cook a bit longer, but Carnaroli grains keep more of their shape so it’s a nice choice if you don’t like your risotto too mushy. Vialone Nano is creamier if you want to go the other direction.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This would be good with the orange cauliflower. It looks more cheesy.