Original and Practical Recipes. Inexpensive, Quick and Healthy.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Parmesan and Bacon Risotto


Charles took his last final exam of the semester on Tuesday and I told him I would cook whatever he wanted for dinner on Wednesday to celebrate. We try to eat healthy low fat meals most nights, but sometimes you have to splurge. So I just went for it and cooked exactly what Charles requested: Risotto with Parmesan, Bacon, Mushrooms and Peas.  I promise that I will come up with a healthier risotto recipe in the near future.

I had never made risotto from scratch before, and it was much easier than I expected.  The one thing I would do differently is that I would use a non-stick pan because the risotto did stick to the bottom of the pan a little.  The risotto was creamy and cheesy, and the crisp bacon on top was a very nice contrast.  Be careful not to set your smoke detector off while crisping up the bacon!  I set our alarm off, marking the second time I have set the alarm off this year.  Fortunately Charles was home; I am too short to reach the alarm to turn it off.

Total time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4-6

You will need:
2 cups Arborio Rice
7 slices of bacon diced (divided - set 2 of the slices aside)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 cup Peas
1/2 cup Mushrooms
1/4 cup White Wine
2 teaspoons Butter
1 large carton of Chicken Broth

Step 1:
Place 5 diced slices of bacon into a large pot over medium heat.  Heat for 2-3 minutes to render the fat from the bacon.  Once the fat melts add the rice and stir.  If there is not enough moisture and the risotto sticks to the bottom of the pan add a little olive oil to coat the rice.

Step 2:
Pour chicken broth over the rice and stir.  Pour just enough to completely submerge the rice.  Bring to a boil.  Keep the risotto over medium heat, you want the broth to be bubbling steadily.

Step 3:
Once the risotto has absorbed the broth (it takes about 10 minutes), add more broth.  As in Step 2, add just enough broth so that the rice is completely submerged.  Stir to make sure that no rice sticks to the bottom of the pan.

Step 4:
Repeat Step 3

Step 5:
Saute the mushrooms in the butter and white wine.

Step 6:
Once the risotto has absorbed the third addition of broth, add more broth until the rice is submerged.  Also add the sauteed mushrooms and the peas.  Stir.

Step 7:
Cook 2 diced slices of bacon until crispy.

Step 8:
Once the risotto has absorbed the broth the fourth time, add the Parmesan and stir.  Remove from heat and serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan and a bit of the crispy bacon.

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