One of the best ways to ease into cooking a more ‘complex’ recipe, is by using pre-processed ingredients so you can focus on other aspects of the dish. For this recipe I bought a cheap package of supermarket sausages that’s quite… blah, but with little work, not only will you save money, you will also create something amazing. This dish has some critical points where you have to pay attention to, but other than that it is a straightforward dish. What we’re creating here is basically similar to a risotto, with a jambalaya-like flavour without using the traditional short grain rice. This particular dish will also get you massive volume. The photos in this particular post is not accurate for measurement purposes, only for steps (If you’re using 1 large green capsicum, 1 large onion and 2 stalks of celery, you will probably end up having something that’s enough for 3-5 meals.)
• Rice, I’m using standard jasmine rice, on its own, 1 cup usually is enough for 2 meals, in this dish it’s double that.
• Sausages (I’m using beef), get the meat out of the skin and break them apart.
• Capsicum/Pepper sliced/diced
• Onion sliced
• Celery stalk sliced – The ratio of the capsicum, onion, and celery is approximately 1:1:1
Pantry items and optionals:
• Herbs and spices to ‘boost’ the cheap sausages if necessary
• White wine
• First, cook the onion and the sausages with a little bit of oil on medium heat. If you’re using cheap sausages you most likely will have a lot of fat in the sausages that will render out so you only need very little oil. Depending on the amount of it, you may even need to wipe the excess off.
• My sausages were not particularly impressive so I added smoked paprika, chili powder, and dried oregano
• Once the sausages are browned, add the capsicum and celery, cook for about half a minute, then add the uncooked rice (If at this point the whole pan becomes too hot, lower the heat a bit)
• Cook until all the rice are covered in oil and turn a little opaque (You can add white wine rnow if you want and let cook for a minute or so before the next step)
• Add warm stock until everything is covered, be generous, you may even need more later
• Cook at high heat until boils, then lower the heat until the stock simmers gently. (Conventional risotto cooking technique indicates that right now you MUST stir non-stop… I never adhered to this and I’ve never burned any risotto, so yeah…)
• When the liquid starts to reduce, that’s when you want to start stirring the content once in awhile just to make sure it doesn’t burn, heat control is important
• Add more stock/water if necessary and cook until the rice is well done. Repeat this step until the rice is cooked to your preferred consistency.
• Do a final check on seasoning before serving
Tips and Thought:
• A risotto-like dish can be scary if you’ve never done one before, but as long as you pay attention to when the liquid starts to reduce and react to it (Add more liquid, reduce the heat when necessary, and stir once in awhile) you will be fine
• Nonstick pan is the way to go. You can use regular pan, but it increases the risk of burning significantly.
• If using wine, don’t go crazy, $5 wine is usually ok, be aware that the wine will change the flavour of the dish
• You can use cold stock but your heat control has to be really good because you have to get everything back to boil everytime you add it to the mix
• I personally use powdered stock, if that’s the case don’t use too much and keep tasting along the way, you want your stock to be very subtle as you keep adding more flavour with every step. You can always add more salt if needed, but you can’t take it out. Don’t forget that sausages tend to be salty already