Philadelphia, PA - One of the most significant Sunday traditions that have developed over the last thirty years is hosting football parties; additionally, home tailgating has become a favorite theme. A fun thing to do as a chef, take seemingly simple ingredients, add a unique twist to the recipe and make it upscale.
This weeks’ Sunday Dinner recipe combines this fun with my love for football to bring friends & family to the dinner table. After all, what better way to have fun tailgating at home than firing up the grill for some bratwurst? Smoked gouda risotto and charred broccoli are balanced out perfectly with the sweet apple cider in Bottled Thyme’s Sauce Robert.
I love risotto. It’s a simple way to make rice exciting while taking advantage of its ability to lend itself to just about any flavor profile; it’s a blank canvas. Rice has grown in Italy since the 14th century, but it wasn’t until 1809 that the first recognizable recipe for risotto was in Lombardy. Traditionally, risotto is made using sticky rice like Arborio, combined with broth, butter, white wine, and parmesan cheese. Some of the various takes are risotto all Zucca, which is pumpkin, nutmeg, and grated cheese. Risotto al Nero di seppie is another crowd pleaser, due to its appearance. This is made using cuttlefish and is cooked with the ink still intact, giving the rice a dark color to it.
The thing to consider when it comes to risotto is that it is a method for cooking rice and not a specific recipe. This method involves adding your cooking liquid in batches while stirring the rice, which helps release the starches and creates the creamy texture that’s sought after with risotto. Short grain varieties of rice are better at releasing starches as they absorb the cooking liquid. The rice also brings on the flavorings that you included in the recipe, such as sautéed onion or garlic, but also seasonings like salt or other spices as it is absorbing the water. Making risottos are an excellent way to involve children; you can not only get them excited about measuring out the ingredients, but they also have an excellent arm for stirring the rice.
The next time you want to have friends and family over for game day, but also want to impress them with your cooking skills, then give this bratwurst recipe a try. It’s easy to follow but gives the distinct impression of fine dining elegance. For more recipes, visit www.BottledThyme.com and join me next week for another Sunday Dinner.
Smoked gouda risotto, pickled shallots, and grilled broccoli.
- 2 lb Bratwurst links
- 1 Jar Sauce Robert
- 6 cups Broccoli Florets
- As Needed Ice Cubes
- To Taste Salt & Pepper
Ingredients - Risotto
- 2 ½ cup Arborio Rice
- 2 cup Chicken Stock
- 1 ½ cup Apple Juice
- 1 ½ cup Water
- 1 lb Smoked Gouda – grated
- Two clove Garlic – minced
- One med Carrot – peeled, small dice
- ½ cup White Wine
- ½ tsp Salt & Pepper
- 2 TBSP Butter
Ingredients – Pickled Shallots
- 2 large Shallot
- 1 cup Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 ½ TBSP Kosher Salt
- 1 ½ TBSP Sugar
- Pinch Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
- ½ tsp Thyme – dried
Process - Risotto
- Combine water, chicken stock and apple juice in a large bowl; whisk well
- In a large skillet, melt butter over med-high heat. Add carrot, sauté for 2 minutes. Add the rice and garlic and toast for 2-3 minutes, often stirring to prevent burning.
- Add the white wine and stir until all of the wine has cooked away. Add 1 cup of the stock mixture and stir. Allow to cook off thoroughly. Keep repeating this process until the rice has cooked thoroughly; approximately 20 minutes.
- With the last batch of stock mixture, also add the gouda and mix in well. Allow to melt and the rice cook until it reaches your desired consistency. Taste for seasoning.
Process – Pickled Shallot
- Peel the shallot and slice into thin strips. Place in a medium bowl.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the kosher salt, sugar, thyme and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook for 2 minutes.
- Pour vinegar mixture over the shallots. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool off to room temperature.
- Cut the broccoli florets off the head to larger pieces. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice cubes and cold water. When the pot reaches a boil, add the broccoli and stir. Allow blanch for 2-3 minutes. Strain and add straight into the ice water to shock the broccoli and stop the cooking. Mix well. Once cooled, remove the broccoli from the ice water and lay it on a cookie sheet lined with a clean towel.
- Pre-heat your grill to between 300-350 degrees. Toss your broccoli in a light amount of seasoned oil. Using a fork, puncture a few holes in the bratwurst. (this allows steam to escape while the sausage is cooking so that they don’t explode on the ends.)
- Once the grill has heated, place the bratwurst over the flame to get them going. Place the broccoli on indirect heat. Both should take about 20 minutes to cook, turning every few minutes for even cooking. During the last 5 minutes or so, place the broccoli over the direct heat to add a slight char to them. Remove from grill when finished.
- In a medium saucepan, bring the Sauce Robert up to a simmer.
- Plate and Enjoy!