Sausage, Shrimp and Sweet Corn Risotto

This is the first night in  a while that I’ve been home to cook dinner.  The weather has turned cold and rainy so I needed something warm and creamy.  It’s week 1 of the Pantry Challenge so I had to make something out of the considerable stores in my fridge, freezer and kitchen cabinets.  Risotto is an elegant dish that you can make out of almost anything.  It’s the perfect way to make a makeshift dinner a little special.

My freezer is full of various sausages so I picked Ault’s Family Farm Sweet Italian Sausage to start with.  While I was perusing the basement freezer stores I came upon a bag of sweet corn that I shaved off the cob last summer.  Just a few shrimp left in the freezer to round out the dish.  It’s a pretty straightforward risotto – chicken stock, onions, garlic, arborio rice.  There’s no white wine in the house right now so I used sherry instead.  It made this a velvety smooth risotto instead of one with the traditional sharpness.  Very nice.  Some fresh cracked black pepper adds just a little bite.  Perfect.

I think the key to this risotto is cooking all the additions ahead of time.  I sliced the sausage into rounds. (A little tip here.  If you slice the sausage while it’s still mostly frozen your rounds will be prettier).  Use a heavy skillet to cook the sausage. You’re going to use that same skillet to pan fry the corn and sear the shrimp so you want it to be heavy enough that it doesn’t burn the drippings over a couple of uses.  Cook the corn in the sausage drippings until all the liquid is cooked out.  Then you can use the same pan to sear the shrimp.  Searing the shrimp rather than just letting them cook in the risotto pot gives them extra flavor and a nice texture too.

The flavor of this risotto is really lovely.  Sweet corn, salty sausage and buttery shrimp.  Yum.  One of my better makeshift meals.  Next time you’re stuck for something to make – and you want something more special than pasta – give this risotto a try, or make up one of your own!

Good? Really good.
Easy? Just a lot of stirring.
Good for company? Absolutely
Special shopping? No shopping at all! It’s Pantry Week!

Sausage, Shrimp and Sweet Corn Risotto

Ingredients

2 large links sweet Italian sausage, sliced into rounds
1 C sweet corn, thawed or fresh
12-15 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 C chicken stock, heated and kept warm
1 T olive oil
1/2 sweet onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 C sherry
3/4 C arborio rice
salt
fresh cracked black pepper

Directions

In a heavy skillet (cast iron is best) cook the sausage until it is cooked through. Remove it from the pan and set it aside. Add the corn to the skillet. Cook until the liquid is gone and the corn just begins to brown. Add the corn to the bowl that holds the cooked sausage. Pat the shrimp dry and sear it on both sides in the skillet. When it is just pink through add it to the corn and sausage. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a small stock pot. Add the onions and garlic. Cook until the onions are soft. Add the rice, stirring to coat all of the grains. Add the sherry. Stir until the sherry is mostly absorbed. Add the warm chicken stock 1/2 C at a time. Stir constantly after each addition until the liquid is almost absorbed. Continue adding liquid and stirring until the rice is al dente, about 40-50 minutes.

Stir in the sausage, shrimp and corn. Cook until it is warm through. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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