Risotto was one of those dishes that I always ordered when I went out to eat, but never made at home. I never really had a reason for not making it at home, I just didn’t. I finally rectified that, and risotto is now one of my favorite things to make. While it takes awhile to make, the result is a perfect bowl of warmth. It is wonderful to make on a cold night, and because there is wine in the dish, you can enjoy a glass (or two) while you are cooking. After all, you have to test it before you cook with it. Risotto is also a great way to use up any veggies that you have around the house, plus it just seems fancier because it is risotto.
Bacon, Leek, and Mushroom Risotto
This makes 6 good sized portions
- 5 slices thick cut bacon // or more, if you tend to munch on bacon while you cook
- 2 leeks, whites and greens, sliced in half moons
- 1.5 cup roughly chopped mushrooms
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 6-10 cups chicken stock // The amount of chicken stock needed depends on a whole mess of things. I’m not really sure why sometimes it takes more or less stock to make a perfect risotto
- 1 1/2 cup arborio rice
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- olive oil
- a pinch of nutmeg // This may seem like a weird ingredient, but nutmeg gives creamy dishes just a little bit of something. You can’t really put your finger on what it is, but it is delicous.
- salt & pepper
- In a medium pot, bring the chicken stock to a simmer. Turn down the heat so it remains at a simmer.
- In a large pot, saute bacon over medium-high heat until it is crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon, leaving the grease.
- Add leeks to the bacon grease and cook until softened. Add mushrooms and cook until glossy. Remove the leeks and mushrooms from the pot using a slotted spoon.
- If there is less than 2 tbsp of grease left, add in some olive oil. Add the rice and cook stirring frequently until the edges are slightly translucent, or for about 2 minutes. Pour in the wine, and stir until the wine has been absorbed. This should take about 2 to 4 minutes.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low. Add in about 1 to 1 1/2 cup of hot chicken stock. [I use my ladle, which I think is somewhere between 1 to 1 1/2 cup] Stir occasionally until the chicken stock has been absorbed. If you run your spoon through the rice, you should be able to see the bottom of the pot.
- Repeat adding stock, and stirring until it is absorbed until the rice is al-dente. This should take 20 to 40 minutes. You don’t want the rice to be soggy or over saturated. If you have any leftover stock, you can refreeze it.
- Add the vegetables back to the pot and add one final ladle full of chicken stock. Stir until absorbed.
- Remove from heat, add in salt, pepper, nutmeg, and parmesan cheese. Stir to combine. Add in lemon juice. Stir again. Taste for seasonings and adjust. I find that risotto needs a lot more salt that you would think; the rice absorbs a lot of it.
- Serve piping hot with a little cheese on top.