Filed under: Main Course, Pasta & Rice, Pasta & Rice | Tags: Risotto, Sausage, Sweet potato
Yesterday after I finish snapping a few pictures of dinner, “M” in all of her three years comes up to me and strikes up a conversation that went like this:
M: Mommy, whacha doing?”
Me: “I’m finishing up dinner, what are you doing?”
M: “What’s for dinner?”
Me: “Cheesy rice with sweet potatoes and sausage”
M: “Ohhhh that sounds delicious! Rice is my favorite….but Mommy there is just one problem.”
Me: “Oh yeah, what’s the problem?”
M: “My brother doesn’t like rice, make something else!”
It’s true, my son is probably the pickiest eater on the planet and he won’t eat rice. I offer it to him when ever I make it, but his response is always the same, “No Ma, don’t want it!” Oh well, what’s a Mom to do? I wish I had some great story about how this risotto was the one that turned him into the carb-lover I know is in there somewhere, but it’s not. This was one of the few nights my husband picked something up for him from work.
This risotto was one of those dishes that came together from things I already had on hand. I had planned to make risotto the old fashioned way, you know ladling hot broth into the rice, stirring until it’s absorbed and repeat until the risotto is cooked. But as I started prepping dinner, I was going through a to-do list in my head of everything else I had to get done that night. Then I glanced over and saw my copy of Around My French Table and had, as Oprah would say, an “Ah Ha” moment. A few weeks back the French Fridays with Dorie recipe was Creamy, Cheesy, Garlicky Rice with Spinach (click here to see my version.) Her French version of risotto doesn’t require constant stirring and attention, but comes out creamy and cheesy. This was a great, comforting meal and I’m glad this recipe adapted well to other flavors.
Sweet Potato and Sausage Risotto
*Adapted from Creamy, Cheesy, Garlicky Rice with Spinach from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan
1 lb Italian sausage, removed from casings
1 onion, diced
1 1lb sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups Arborio rice
7 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup shredded provolone
1/4 cup milk
Fried sage leaves for garnish, optional
Brown sausage and onions over medium high heat and set aside. While sausage browns, heat the oil and cook the sweet potatoes with the Italian spice until the potatoes are crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
To cook the rice, bring chicken stock to a boil. Stir in the rice and cover. Reduce the heat to low and allow the rice to cook, undisturbed until most of the liquid is evaporated about 25 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the rice to finish absorbing the liquid. Stir the sausage, milk and cheese into the rice until the cheese melts. Gently fold in the sweet potatoes and serve with fried sage leaves immediately.
A while ago my mom told me about a breakfast casserole she made and she finally sent me the recipe (HI MOM.) It’s really more of a method than a recipe, as you can put whatever you have on hand in these “muffins.” I had planned to make one large casserole in my new spring form pan. I thought I could pop it right out and slice it up. I would serve some as” breakfast for dinner” that night and freeze the rest for a quick breakfast during the week. Well, I’ve never had a spring form pan before and I didn’t know that it wasn’t sealed. I arranged my filling neatly. First a layer of potatoes, then the sausage, then the cheese. I was smiling thinking how nice each layer would look when I sliced this bad boy up. Oh, but then….I poured the egg mixture over the potatoes and sausage. I turned around to open the oven door and heard dripping. I turned back around to see a huge puddle of the egg mixture all over the counter top and dripping to the floor. Sadly, I mixed up more eggs and milk and spooned the pretty potato, sausage and cheese into muffin cups.
However, the smile returned to my face when I pulled these little “muffins” out of the oven some time later. They smelled wonderful, the eggs had puffed up around the filling and the cheese on top was golden brown and crunchy. While they weren’t as pretty as my original vision, they were delicious.
Sausage, Egg and Potato “Muffins”
3 large potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
2 red onions diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon rosemary
2 cups Hillshire Farm Lite Sausage, diced
3 tablespoons green onion, diced
2 cups shredded cheese (I used half pepper jack, half cheddar), plus extra for topping
1 cup milk
Salt/pepper to taste
Toss the potatoes and red onions with oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, or just until the potatoes are tender and the onions caramelize (this can be done up to 2 days ahead of time, cooled and refrigerated.)
Sauté sausage over medium-high heat until crisp and edges start to brown. Set aside and cool. Once the sausage is cooled, toss with the green onion.
To assemble the muffins: Divide potatoes, sausage, and cheese among 12 greased muffin cups. Pour the egg mixture 2/3 of the way up each cup. Sprinkle cheese on top of the muffins.
Bake “muffins” at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, or until the eggs are set and the cheese on top starts to brown.
These can be served warm or at room temperature.
*Extras can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 1 month. To reheat, bake them on 400 for 20 minutes until warmed through.