Bacon Risotto

It’s been nearly a year since the last time Nick wrote a blog post for me. It’s been nearly a year since the last time Nick cooked dinner for me (besides grilled meat, of course). Since Nick made me (an awesome) dinner for my birthday last week, he decided to take another stab at blogging! Without further ado…

Jess is the most difficult person to buy gifts for. She is a very modest person, and rarely wears fancy jewelry, so that’s out. She is always in need of a nice pair of shoes, but is pickier than a vegan at a steak house, so that’s out. Ah, but there is one thing that she loves (more than me, I think)… food.

As man law dictates, I had to attempt to buy her some form of jewelry for her birthday. My feeble attempt at buying her earrings she wanted ended in a swift return to the mall. To make up for it, I had to make her a dinner she wouldn’t forget.

In my humble opinion, there is one food that can change a meal from plain to spectacular: risotto. Its smooth texture and rich cheesy flavor, make it a meal fit for kings (and queens). What could make my risotto stand out though? The one ingredient that makes everything taste better: bacon.

Bacon Risotto

(Compliments of allrecipes.com)

  •  1/2 pound bacon, diced
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • salt and black pepper, to taste

Cook and stir the diced bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon and reserve.

Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a saucepan over high heat; reduce heat to low to 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. Pour in the rice and stir until the rice is coated in butter and has started to toast, 2 to 3 minutes.

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

Repeat this process twice more, stirring constantly. Stirring in the broth should take 15 to 20 minutes in all. When finished, the rice should be tender, yet slightly firm.

Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, the Parmesan cheese, and the reserved bacon. Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.

This dish turned out amazing as expected. I served it on the side of some lemon-garlic sautéed shrimp, and some blanched asparagus spears. I’m pretty sure it blew Jess away, as she ate more than I did, which is, needless to say, hard to do.

For dessert was a delicious pineapple upside-down cake made by my friend Brandon and me.

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