Thursday, May 3, 2012
Sausage and Peppers
Katie had rehearsal (she's a dancer in case I haven't mentioned that before) so I was home alone for the night. I cracked a beer and sunk into the couch. Chopped was on. I think you know where this is going... I got hungry and opened the fridge. I saw a red pepper that needed to be cooked, some sausage, leftover homemade sauce from the pizza we made last night, and some almost stale bread. Immediately, I thought, sausage and peppers sandwich. But Ted Allen got the best of me so I had to reinvent it.
I fried the sausage in a cast iron skillet for some caramelization then popped it in the oven to finish. When that was finished, I fried up some toast in the sausage grease. So far, pretty simple.
Sausage and pepper risotto came next. Not so simple. Arborio rice, sauteed onions and garlic with oil. Once that starts drying up (which is very quickly) I started adding a mixture of the leftover sauce, milk and water, with a splash of vinegar. Keep stirring the rice on medium while adding the liquid as needed (often). I added salt, black pepper and red pepper. It takes a very long time to start getting tender, be patient. When the crunch was starting to fade from the rice, I added some of the sausage (chopped), red pepper, and parm. Once the rice tasted al dente, I pulled it and cooled it down quickly.
Once cooled, I separated out enough to fill two ramekins and mixed this amount with one egg. I sprayed and filled two ramekins and popped them in the oven at about 400F. Next, I got to the sausage gravy. I used what we had. Made a roux, added skim milk, a ton of black pepper, the rest of the sausage, and some parm. Once thick, I killed the heat and turned my attention to the oven, praying that the risotto molds would hold their shape with the addition of the egg.
As you can see it ended up holding shape. I took a dish that I enjoy and reinvented it. I approached this thinking that I would love cooking this because it would be fun to try a bunch of different things but didn't really think it would taste that great to me. As much as I love to eat, this is often the case when I get creative in the kitchen, the journey is much more fun than the destination. This one, however, broke the mold and I can honestly say that it was one of my favorite things to eat that I've ever cooked.
Posted by Rotio at 6:35 PM