Wednesday, March 28, 2012



There are huge "blind spots" in my cooking repertoire, like various herbs that I've never been introduced to, or spices that picky-picky husband refuses to eat and then there is always the financial restrictions that keep me from trying certain foods.

I'm not sure which of these categories risotto falls into (I've never even tasted it before today)  but I'm guessing that the $10 price tag for a 36 ounce jar of Arborio rice was part of the "hold up". I know I will be on a search for a more reasonable source, in the near future, for this specialty rice since we liked it so much.

This recipe came from and it is absolutely delicious. I am really looking forward to reheating it for tomorrows lunch!!
1/2 pound bacon (fried, drained and crumbled)
5 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced (see note)
1½ cups Arborio rice (do not use regular rice)
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (not the powdered kind)
salt and pepper to taste

Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a sauce pan, over high heat; reduce the heat to low and keep the chicken stock hot.

Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan over medium high heat.  Add the onion and garlic; cook and stir until the onion begins to turn golden brown at the edges, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and stir until it is coated in butter and has started to toast, about 2 or 3 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium and stir in one third of the hot chicken stock; continue stirring until the rice has absorbed the liquid and turned creamy.

Repeat this process two more times, stirring constantly, which should take about 15-20 minutes total time. The rice should be tender but slightly firm when fully cooked.

Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, the cheese and the crisp bacon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

NOTE: As a first time risotto maker, I was nervous about making rice without using a lid on the pan, but it works great...just don't rush it.

NOTE: I wanted the bacon flavor to cook into the rice, so I put about half of the crisp bacon into the rice as it cooked, then mixed in the other half of the crisp bacon before serving. I will definitely do that again because it gave the rice a wonderful flavor.

NOTE: The recipe calls for four cloves of garlic, but that seems like a LOT. I didn't use any garlic because picky-picky is allergic to it.
These photos do not do this tasty side dish justice.
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