Just a little ole working gal, who loves food

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bacon and Chive Risotto=LOVE!

So before i start this post I have to show you what I woke up to on Wednesday morning (that and a killer flu bug).

Yeah...what the hell Mother Nature!!! I was all ready for spring and you drop this bomb? Not Cool!
Anyhow, on to the recipe...
We celebrated my dads birthday last weekend with a dinner at our place. We wanted something hearty, warm, filling and talked about. Risotto totally fit the bill…especially with the 2 prime ribs we cooked (recipe to come!).
The Key to Risotto is patience…you can’t rush it so no cranking the heat on this one! Its also best served immediately…so you can prepare it up to a certain point and set aside…but I have honestly never done this…if I make this, lets eat it damnit!
Bacon and Chive Risotto
1 Cup Arborio Rice (It HAS to be this type of rice. All Grocery stores carry it)
1 Cup White Wine
4-6 Cups Low Sodium Chicken stock, simmering on the side (I had frozen stock from when I made the roast chickens last week…extra flavor!)
6 Slices of thick cut bacon, cut into small bite size pieces
Handful of Chives
1 Shallot, Minced
5 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
Butter (at least a half cup)
Salt and Pepper

In a large deep saucepan cook your bacon until crisp.

Set bacon aside, drain pan of fat but leave a tiny bit. Do not clean the pan..you want the bacon juices and bits still on the bottom.
Set heat to medium high and add 2 Tbsp of butter to pan. Once butter is melted add Rice. Stirring constantly listen to the rice. You will hear it start crackling. This crackling is the rice releasing its starches, you want this to happen so that when the rice starts to cook it gives the risotto the creamy consistency that you want. So after it has been crackling for a couple of minutes add, the shallot. This is a good time to season with Salt and Pepper. Stir to combine and sweat the shallot. Now, stand back and add the wine. It will steam and bubble. Keep stirring. Once all the wine has evaporated, lower the heat to medium and start adding your simmering chicken stock one ladle at a time, stirring occasionally until all the liquid is evaporated, then adding another ladle.

You want to keep stirring so the rice does not stick to the bottom. Keep on doing this until the rice is al dente. The best way to do this is to take a grain of rice and to bite it in half. If you see a bright white pin in the middle of the grain you are good to go.
At this point remove pan from heat. Add in the cooked Bacon, Chives, Thyme and 2-3 tbsp of butter in chunks.

Mix thoroughly until butter is melted and risotto is creamy. Finish, by mixing in the Parmesan and adding more chives to garnish. This will knock your socks off!
Here is the finished product served with Prime Rib and Asparagus. Bon Appetite!

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