If you like a bowl of risotto without the glycemic load of Arborio rice but dread the long cooking time of a brow rice, try our nutty and texturally pleasing brown rice grits. They cook in about the same time as white rice, will cream, and possess many more heath benefits. This savory gritsotto uses a relatively small amount of Italian sausage, cream, and Manchego cheese to embellish a company pleasing sum of rice,mushrooms, olives, herbs, tomatoes, and spinach. A splash of sherry enriches the finish. Hearty, healthy, toothsome, and delectable.
½ pound Italian Sausage
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup quality dry white wine
¼ cup olive oil, divided
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 small red onion, diced
3 tbsp garlic, minced
1 ¼ cup Original Mississippi Middlins Brown Rice
Grits or Missimati Brown Rice Grits
1 tbsp sage, fresh minced
1 ½ tbsp sweet basil, fresh minced
1 tsp thyme, fresh minced
1 cup chopped black olives
2 cups seasonal mushrooms, chopped
1 cup small cherry tomatoes or the like,
spilt in halves
1 ½ cup baby spinach, chopped
½ cup heavy cream
1 ½ cups Manchego cheese, shredded
(only if necessary, substitute Parmesan)
1 jigger dry Sherry (optional)
Scallions for garnish
In large thick bottom sauté pan or skillet, brown sausage, crumbling while stirring. Remove and set aside.
Add 1 tbsp olive oil to sauté pan, then garlic, yellow, and red onion. Sauté for a couple minutes, and add sage, thyme, and basil.
Sauté until onions soft. Remove and set aside with sausage.
Add remaining olive oil to sauté pan. Add rice, stirring to coat kernels and to heat; lightly toast for couple minutes until you smell a light nuttiness aroma. Add white wine, and over medium heat, stir while rice absorbs wine. Meanwhile, simmer 4 cups chicken stock in medium saucepan until thoroughly heated.
When rice has absorbed most of wine, begin adding warmed stock one ladle at a time to rice, stirring well. When each ladle has been nearly absorbed, add another, repeating process. When about 1/3 of stock has been used, add cooked sausage and onions to rice, blending well.
When about ½ of stock has been used, add olives to rice. Continue adding stock for absorption by rice, stirring all the while.
Add the mushrooms to the rice next, blending well with more stock. When this stock is absorbed, add tomatoes and spinach
along with what will be about last of stock. Blend well, occasionally checking for rice doneness (will be cooked al dente—firm but soft center when done, or if you like firmer, healthier rice, will have occasional crunch in center).
This process should take about 25 to 30 minutes.
When rice is creamy (but not runny) and rice is cooked to desired doneness, add cream and blend well.
Next, add cheese and sherry and stir to blend well. Allow to rest for a couple minutes, plate or place in bowl, garnish with scallions, and enjoy!