Thursday, April 17, 2008
Orzo Risotto with Venison Sausage
I love unusual interpretations of classic dishes. A lot of people get upset when someone messes with the food that is near and dear to their hearts and I understand that. However, if no one ever tried to innovate these dishes then we would all still be eating bland dinosaur dishes like Boiled Beef with Parsley Sauce or scary things suspended in aspic. We should definitely have a sense of history and respect the classics but by being creative and adventurous with food we can keep the arts part of the Culinary Arts relevant.
It's been done before so I'm not claiming the invention of the wheel or anything but I decided to make risotto out of orzo pasta instead of the usual rice. My own twist to it is that I tweaked the cooking method that I've seen on a few other recipes by cooking it more like an actual risotto and I've added the addition of asparagus, asiago cheese, and a local, spicy venison sausage that I purchased at Whole Foods. If you're on a diet stop reading now because just reading this recipe you will gain a couple pounds.
Orzo Risotto with Asparagus and Venison Sausage
2 cups orzo pasta
3 cups chicken stock
1 bunch fresh asparagus, hard ends removed, cut into 2" pieces
1/2 lb venison sausage, no casings
1/2 cup finely grated asiago cheese
2 tbsp high fat European style butter
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
In a pot of boiling salted water, blanch the asparagus 3 minutes.
Saute the venison sausage in a pan with a little olive oil over medium high heat until fully cooked. Season if needed.
In a large pot cover the orzo with chicken stock and cook over medium heat, adding stock as needed until just cooked through. Stir every few seconds. It should be cooked through in about 10 minutes and the remaining liquid should have a creamy consistency. Stir in the cheese, butter, asparagus, venison sausage, and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with parsley and serve hot.
Stir in cheese, butter, salt, and pepper and serve immediately.