Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sugar and Spice

And yes, both items are ingredients in today's recipe post on Spiced Sausage and Rice. (You can just stop "eeewww"ing about the sugar in a sausage dish).  This is one of those dishes you make when you realize that you're going to have to make do with what's on hand because you were to busy (read, lazy) to go grocery shopping.  This particular dish came out of a throw-something-together night with friends; it turned out so well that I have since taken it and tweaked it until it was an actual recipe.  The recipe below serves 2 - 3 people without side dishes and can be easily doubled if needed.

What You'll Need
1 medium pan                                                                 1 cutting board
1 small pot                                                                      1 knife for slicing
1 cooking spoon                                                              1 knife for chopping
Measuring cups
1 cup jasmine rice                                                          1/2 Tbsp ground cardamom
5 chicken sausages                                                         1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
1 small yellow onion*                                                     Dash ground coriander
1/2 red or green bell pepper*                                         Small dash ground cloves
1 small handful light brown sugar                                 Olive oil

Now Let's Make Spiced Sausage and Rice
Double, double, toil and trouble
Measure out 1 cup of rice and set it to the side of the stove to be on hand later (or, you know, run around like a chicken with its head cut off like I do when I forget to measure out the rice, either way). Measure out 1 3/4 cup water and pour it into your small pot.  You can also follow the instructions on the back of the rice bag, but I find you get a dryer rice if you reduce the water by 1/4 to 1/3 cup.  Set the pot on the stove and turn heat to high to bring water to a boil.  Once water is boiling add rice and stir once.

Uncovered rice is indecent
Cover the rice and reduce heat to 2 or 3.  Now you can ignore the rice for a little while, fluffing it with a fork occasionally until done.  Meanwhile, get out your cutting board and peel and dice the small onion.  Put a smidge of olive oil into the medium pan and set the heat to medium.  Add the onions and saute.  While the onions are cooking, cut the bell pepper in half, saving one half for a later date.  Remove the core and seeds from the remaining half and dice it.  Add to medium pan to saute. ("why are there no pictures of this step?" you ask.  Because I needed to go to the store so badly that I didn't have them on hand. Fortunately onions and bell peppers are optional ingredients).

Chicken sausage sounds a little wrong
While the onions and peppers are sauteing, slice the chicken sausage into small dials about 1/3 of an inch thick.  I like to use an off-brand italian chicken sausage, since the "italian" part of that seems to mostly consist of peppers. Also, I find that the seasoning is light enough to compliment the dish. When you're done slicing the sausage, add it to the sauteing vegetables (they should be pretty tender by now).  Use your cooking spoon to move the ingredients around the pan occasionally as you saute to ensure even cooking and prevent scorching.

Just ignore the lack of onions/peppers
Add the 1/2 Tbsp cardamom, 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon, dash of coriander, and small dash of cloves. (And I do mean a small dash, unless you want your tongue to go numb).  You can also add a sprinkle of salt to taste if you'd like.  Stir in the spices until the meat and vegetables are fairly evenly coated.  Now add a small handful of brown sugar to the mixture.  In terms of my hands, this equals about 1/4 cup, maybe a little less. Mix this into the sausage and vegetables until they are evenly coated.  By now you should have a thick, slightly goopy (from the sugar) sauce in the pan. Once the sausage is cooked through, reduce heat to low.

Back, foul demon!
Don't forget to fend off any hungry gatos that might be stalking you during the cooking process.  The black ones are especially dangerous, due to their ninja-like camouflage.  I caught this one deviously eyeing my back as I sauteed the sausage, attracted by the scent of raw meat and licking his chops.  But I'm on to their wily ways. (It also helped that he was perched on a white washer and dryer, but still).

I've nothing funny to say about rice
Now, check your rice. Hopefully it's nice and dry and fluffy (see the pretty picture to the right).  If, however, it is not dry and fluffy and there is instead water in the pot still, then your rice is not done yet. The key is to cook the rice until the water has been completely absorbed by the grains.  If your rice does not seem to be doing this, try slightly increasing the heat (I said SLIGHTLY!).  Keep the rice covered as it cooks, and be careful to watch it closely, since you don't want to burn the rice in the bottom of the pot.

To serve, dish rice onto the center of a plate or into a bowl.  Top with the sausage, and nom.



  1. Yum! And I love your "asides". And the picture of the cat!

  2. Thanks! It is very tasty. You could double it and feed your crowd easy.


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