Saturday, July 28, 2012

Risotto - Not as Hard as You Think

One of my favorite things I've learned to cook is risotto. It took me a long time to try it, but when I finally did, I was pleasantly surprised. Below is one of my favorite risotto recipes. 

I was scared to try risotto because it seems so intimidating, but I realized it is actually one of the easiest things to cook. I am by no means an experienced cook, but this is a recipe I can definitely tackle and you should be able to too!

I love risotto because as long as I have the rice and chicken stock, which I keep on hand, I can make it with just about anything in my fridge. During the summer time I make one with corn, tomato, and basil and the fall and winter I make a risotto with Butternut squash. It is very versatile. I had bacon left from BLTs and onions on hand, so I decided to make this one. I think of bacon as a treat and I buy the more expensive bacon so I don't buy it that often and try to use it in many different things.

The secret I have found with risotto is patience and constant stirring. Don't give up and allow each addition of liquid to absorb or the rice is crunchy. Have a glass of wine and don't rush it. It will take about 40 mins, but will be worth it every time. It will be much easier after the first time.

Carmelized Onion and Bacon Risotto
Serves 3 as a main dish and 6 as a side dish
This is the Barefoot Contessa's method, just cut down and with different ingredients.

1/4 lb of thickly sliced bacon (I use the 365 Whole Foods brand Applewood Bacon)
2 tablespoons olive oil 
1 large yellow onion, sliced thinly 
1 cup arborio rice (risotto) 
1/3 cup good dry white wine 
4 cups chicken stock, heated 
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

First cook the bacon. I used the oven method. Line a half sheet pan with foil and put a rack on it and place the bacon on the rack and put in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 mins., depending on desired crispiness. When it is finished cooking, remove the bacon, drain on paper towels, and crumble. Set aside. 

In a saucepan, heat chicken stock and set aside. In a large heavy bottomed pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until onion is soft and caramelized. Add rice and stir to combine. Make sure all of the rice is coated in the olive oil. It should all look shiny. Let cook for another minute. Add white wine and let reduce almost all of the way. Reduce heat to medium low. Begin adding chicken stock a large ladle and a half at a time. Wait at least 10 mins between each addition of stock or until liquid is absorbed. Add more stock as the liquid is absorbed. Wait for it to absorb Continue until rice is al dente. Take off of the heat and add crumbled bacon and cheese, salt, pepper, and stir. 

     It will look like this each time you add
     the chicken stock, but be patient and keep stirring.

           It will eventually look like this each time

                 And finally, like this.



  1. Can't wait to try the Risotto, Sarah!

  2. Risotto scares me, I've always wanted to try making it though...

  3. I LOVE risotto so much, but my husband calls it mushy rice, so I don't make it very often.
    You are right, it is so versatile, and really not that hard to make.
    I am going to try this, mushy rice be damned!
    Nice to meet you, by the way!
    --Ariel :)

  4. Risotto is awesome! There is a simple recipe in Joy of Cooking that I tried several years ago. Even my kids, 4 and 2, like it.
    I really enjoy your writing!

  5. Risotto isn't so hard , I agree :)). Love your writing ,a new blog for me to follow ...keep writing Sarah !

  6. I can't get over your bacon! There is almost no meat, just the fat/rind! Here in Australia it's mostly meat with a little rind.

    Thank you for the recipe share though, I tried a risotto recently and it went in to the bin haha! I order it when I eat out because that's the only time I get a nice one.

  7. That looks so good! Definitely trying it!

  8. This looks delicious! So happy I found your blog through Kelle's. Can't wait to read your posts. Thank you for sharing your story AND your recipes!

  9. ive always liked risotto but been afraid to try making it! have you seen the show "hell's kitchen" with gordan ramsay? he is always screaming at them that they screwed up on the risotto and ruined it. i think that's where my phobia comes from! haha - i'll be trying this!

    1. That's the same reason I have never tried risotto. :-) I will be giving this a try now. Thanks, Sarah!

  10. I'm going to try this! Love your blog, btw.

  11. Risotto is one of my all-time favorite dishes to cook as well! I have an incredible recipe for Salmon Risotto on my blog... it's the best risotto I've ever made. Try it, you'll love it :)


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