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Italian Sausage & Rice Casserole in a Skillet

While I was traveling a couple of weeks ago, Darrell made up a simple skillet dish for himself. He made it again yesterday, so I asked him to construct a recipe - when we cook, we tend to just use ingredients until it looks/tastes good, so sometimes actual measurements are hard to come by. These are his best estimates of what he has put into this skillet casserole . . . experiment to suit yourself!

1 onion, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp white or black pepper
Oregano and parsley to taste
1 ½ cups rice
3 ½ cups water or chicken stock
Salt to taste
1 lb hot Italian sausage
Parmesan Cheese, coarsely grated

Chop onion as desired, sauté in a bit of olive oil until just transparent.  Add celery, cook until limp, add garlic, then add herbs to taste.  It will make a difference if you’re using fresh or dried and your preference.  You may also add a little basil or any other herb you desire.  I don’t add any salt because I use a chicken base that adds plenty of salt but if you’re using water or canned stock, you’ll need to add salt.  Add the rice and stir in with the vegetables for just a minute, then add the stock.  Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer about an hour or until the rice is as tender as you like it.  Meanwhile, brown the sausage lightly in a separate skillet, drain off excess grease.  I use a bulk sausage, so I crumble it while browning.  If you are using stuffed sausage, cut into bite-sized slices before browning. When the rice is nearly done or done, add the sausage, stir it a bit, then stir in about a cup of coarsely grated Parmesan, more or less depending on your taste.  You can also leave out the cheese and add as a garnish to suit individual taste.


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