Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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The Lush Chef
Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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Apr 29, 2014

Beer Risotto with Sausage and Gouda

Libations used: one bottle of beer...
Libations left over: well, hopefully you bought a whole pack, so pop open another bottle while you're stirring that risotto...
Ah, risotto.  The downfall of nearly every contestant on Top Chef.  It's a process that shouldn't be rushed, which is inevitably while these folks fail because they're trying to make it with such a short amount of time.  But don't be scared off by it.  It's really quite easy, and the key is to have a warm stock, room temperature beer or wine, patience, and a strong stirring arm.  Making risotto is a great way to tone your arms!  This version from Cherry on My Sundae's blog is what I would consider a guy's risotto.  It's got beer, spicy sausage, and plenty of cheese.  What's not to love?  Use a dark beer, like a brown ale and make sure it's at room temperature.  I grabbed a pack of spicy Italian chicken sausages from Trader Joe's and a nice, smoky gouda.  So pop or crack open a cold one, and get to stirring.

Beer Risotto with Sausage and Gouda - serves 4
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 8 oz spicy sausage, sliced
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 12 oz dark beer at room temperature (I used Mission St. Brown Ale)
  • 3 cups chicken stock, warmed in a small sauce pot on the stove
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1/2 cup grated gouda
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 Tbs parsley, chopped
- In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the olive oil.
- Add the sliced sausages and sauté until browned, about 3 minutes.
- Remove the sausages with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl.
- Add the onion and garlic to the pan and sauté for about 3-4 minutes, until they're translucent.
- Add the rice and stir, cooking for about 1-2 minutes so you get a nice, nutty aroma.
- Add half of the beer and stir until the liquid is fully absorbed.
- Add the remaining beer and stir until that's fully absorbed.
- Add a ladle of warm chicken stock and keep stirring away until it's absorbed. Take a swig of beer - this is hard work!
- Keeping adding the stock in increments, stirring until all the liquid is absorbed.
- Cook until the rice appears creamy and is al dente, about 20-30 minutes after all is said and done.
- Stir in the butter and grated cheese.
- Add the sausages back in and season with salt and pepper.
- Divide evenly, and garnish with the chopped parsley.