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I had never eaten risotto before but I have always wanted to try it. It sounds so exotic and fancy. Gordon Ramsey screams at chefs who butcher this prized dish. Honestly, I have no idea if my results are satisfactory. We did enjoy it very much, so that is good enough for now. Next time I go to a snazzy restaurant, I will order it to compare. I wonder what I will find…

Bacon and Mushroom Risotto (a variation of this recipe)

  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 6 bacon slices, chopped
  • 1 cuo chopped onions or shallots
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 oz baby portabello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
  • 1/3 cup Madeira wine
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup grated fresh asiago cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Bring chicken stock to a simmer in a small saucepan (do not boil); keep warm over low heat.

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon to pan; cook 8 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon. Add shallots, oil, thyme, and garlic to drippings in pan; cook 6 minutes or until shallots are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in mushrooms; cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add rice, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in Madeira; cook 1 minute or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 cup stock; cook 4 minutes or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add remaining stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of stock is absorbed before adding the next (about 25 minutes total). Stir in spinach; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in cheese, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle with bacon.

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