Corn & Sausage Risotto with Peach Salsa
October 17, 2011 § Leave a comment
E: And so to start off our next 100 posts, what could be more fitting than another risotto (we’ve got 4 already, but really, who’s counting)? Therefore, I present it to you, dear readers, a risotto that is distinctly not vegetarian: a southwest-style corn and sausage risotto with a peach salsa.
This was the product of one of those times, you know, the there’s-no-kind-of-food-in-the-house-at-all kind of times; the I’ve-got-no-idea-what-to-make kind of times; the all-I-found-in-the-freezer-was-this-chicken-sausage kind of times. Those times.
That sausage just had to get used for something, so I popped out to the store to buy some stuff that could go with it, and decided to make a risotto. Macheesmo had just made a peach salsa to go with some fish, so I shamelessly used the idea as a cold topping to go with the warm risotto.
It was delicious! I’m a big fan of risotto and I think this may have been the best I’ve ever made. And the contrast between the soft, creamy risotto and the cold, crunchy salsa elevated an otherwise tasty dish. The chicken sausage (sweet Italian I believe) gave the risotto a nice smooth richness, and I added a little chipotle sauce for some kick. I didn’t follow any particular recipe (since I’ve done this enough times I can make risotto from memory), but there are a few with detailed instructions floating around here and there that will give you an idea of the intricacies of risotto, if you don’t know how to do it already. I promise it isn’t that hard. Add hot stock to hot rice a bit at a time. It’s as simple as that!
I suggest about 1 sausage per cup of dry rice, but if you want to go heavier or lighter than that be my guest.
1-2 ripe peaches
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 tomato (optional)
1 jalapeño or serrano pepper
1 chicken (or other) sausage
1 tsp. to 1 Tbsp. chipotle sauce (optional, you can use a hot sausage, red pepper flakes, or skip this altogether)
1-2 cloves garlic
1 cup arborio rice
1 quart chicken stock
1/2 cup corn (frozen or fresh)
salt & pepper
Alright, so the first thing to do is make the salsa. Pit the peaches and dice them finely. De-seed the bell peppers and do the same. Dice the tomato, if you are using one. De-seed the hot pepper and mince it very finely. Mix this all together in a bowl with some salt and pepper and place it in the fridge to stay cold. You can do this hours in advance (this stuff kept for at least 5 days, and was great with bread, eggs, chips, beans . . . in other words, just about anything.)
When you are ready to start the risotto part of this, put your stock in a pot and get it simmering. In a dutch oven or large skillet, heat some oil. Cut the sausage out of its casing and fry up the meat, adding some chipotle sauce near the end for extra flavor. You want this cooked through, but it won’t take too long because the pieces of meat will be small. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add some more oil to the pan. When it is heated, add the onion and sautée for several minutes, until it becomes translucent.
Then add the rice. Dry fry it for a minute or two until heated, then start adding stock. Stir until the stock is absorbed, then add more. Taste frequently. Eventually you’ll have something that’s almost done. Add the garlic, corn, and the sausage, and cook until everything is heated.
You can add some cheese if you like but it doesn’t really need it.
Serve the risotto on top of some lettuce, and add the salsa to the top for a sort-of salad. Enjoy!