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Friday, October 1, 2010

Karin's Week Thirty-Six Recipes: Sausage & Herb Risotto with Strawberry Trifle

This set of recipes came out of a competition I signed up for at work: Titanium Chef. The goal was to cook a dinner entree and a dessert for 4 30min and using only a 2 burner Coleman camp stove. Additional restrictions included: all ingredients had to be OK to eat after 24hr with no refrigeration or cooler, nothing could be in glass containers, and all utensils had to be things you might actually take on a camping trip. I was cooking against 2 guys at the same time.

In an effort to try and actually cook something rather substantial and easy I decided to cook Sausage & Herb Risotto and what I called a Strawberry Trifle. This is mostly because during my practice run I couldn't get a Strawberry Tart made.

Sausage & Herb Risotto

1 1/3c arborio rice
1 carton Swanson's Chicken Broth
3 precooked Italian sausages (bratwurst-sized)
1 cardboard container white wine (I used a Chardonnay)
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2T olive oil
2T butter
2 cloves garlic, pushed through a garlic press
Penzey's Tuscan Sunset seasoning
4T fresh parsley, chopped

Start both burners on stove to flaming hot. Pour 1/3 of chicken stock into saucepan and start to bring to simmer. Heat butter and oil in large frying pan until butter is melted. Saute onion and garlic in oils. Add 1/3 more chicken stock to saucepan. Stir rice into oils until rice becomes slightly translucent. Add 1 ladleful of stock to rice and stir thoroughly. Add remaining stock to saucepan. Pour approximately 1/2c of wine into frying pan with rice and stir. By now stock should be boiling. Continue to stir rice. As liquid is absorbed and 1-2 ladlefuls of stock to rice. About 1/2 through cooking time, add another 1/2 c of wine into rice. When the last ladleful of stock is added to rice, slice sausages into bite-sized chunks and add to pan. Add in approximately 1/4c of Tuscan Sunset - or to taste. I put in ALOT and it smelled great. Heat through. Remove pan from heat and add parsley. Stir to combine and serve with parsley for garnish.

Strawberry Trifle

1 - 16oz container fresh strawberries
1 - 8oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1 c sugar, divided
40 Nilla wafers

Slice strawberries and place into ziploc baggie with 1/2c of sugar. Zip closed. Smash strawberries between fingers to mix with sugar. Set aside. Meanwhile, crush Nilla wafers into small pieces and crumbs in separate baggie. Set aside. Mix cream cheese and remaining 1/2 c sugar in small bowl.

To assemble: Place a small handful of crushed Nilla wafers in bowl. Add a large dollop of cream cheese mixture. Top with strawberry mixture and juice.

The outcome? I came in 2nd by 0.5pts. Final score was 119.5, 119, and 105. However, during the taste-testing, both of my dishes were eaten up rapidly. And I did get the 'easy to replicate on your own' award. Several people in the audience said they hadn't thought of ever trying to make a risotto while camping, but as it was so filling, they're going to try now. On a side note, the trifle was originally supposed to be a tart with a cookie crust, but I couldn't get the crust to hold together during my test run - hence the trifle. I would definitely make this again, and if you come camping with me you might get to taste it too!

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