Monday, February 22, 2010
I've really been into risotto lately. I know it's sooooo bad for you, but it tastes SO FLIPPING GOOD. Last night I decided to experiment a bit with stuff I already had in the house, and came up with this. It's not the prettiest dish, but it sure is tasty!
Just some tips before you start:
*Most recipes that I've seen say to use a nonstick pan, but I've just been using my stainless d5 All Clad pan and haven't had a single problem with sticking. I'd say if you have good pots and pans, to go ahead and skip using Teflon (because it's gross anyway) but if you don't, then go ahead with your nonstick pan. You've gotta use what you have! :)
*Don't stop stirring. Your arm will get tired, but you can't stop stirring. This is what keeps your risotto from scorching and helps to develop it's signature creaminess.
*Because you shouldn't stop stirring, this is an ideal recipe to practice mise en place like on a cooking show. You don't want to be running around and trying to grate cheese while simultaneously stirring the risotto. It's not going to happen.
1/2 lb bacon, chopped
One of those grocery store containers of white button mushrooms (I forget the size), sliced and left to dry on towels (paper or a clean tea towel)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
8 cups chicken stock
2 cups cooked diced chicken
1/2 stick butter
1 to 1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
1 1/2 cups frozen peas (slightly thawed)
salt and pepper to taste
*In a medium saucepan, bring chicken stock to a boil. Reduce heat and keep at a simmer.
*In a large skillet, saute bacon over medium heat until it is crisp. Remove from pan, leaving the fat. Place mushrooms in the pan in a single layer and don't touch them! At least not for a minute or so. Give them a stir and let them sit for another minute. Remove from pan, reserving as much of the fat as possible.
*Saute chopped onions in the bacon fat until translucent, about three minutes. Add rice and cook for two minutes, stirring constantly. Add white wine and stir until absorbed.
*Add 1/2 cup of hot chicken stock to rice. Stir until absorbed. Continue adding chicken stock to the rice, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until it's absorbed after each addition. This will happen very quickly at first, then take longer as more stock is incorporated.
*After you've stirred in four cups of stock, add bacon and mushrooms into the pan. I had some leftover roast chicken, so I chopped that up and tossed it in as well to make it more of a main dish.
*Keep adding stock 1/4 cup at a time to the pan and don't stop stirring! You'll want to do this until the risotto is creamy and the rice is cooked al dente, just like pasta. I usually use most, if not all of the stock.
*Stir in butter and parmigiano reggiano until melted. Add peas and allow to heat through. Serve immediately.
Um, and in case you were wondering - no, this is NOT low fat! HA!
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