Saturday, May 15, 2010

Easy Risotto

Disclaimer #1: The Blog Universe ate my original post of this recipe. I had already dragged and dropped all the photos and had super witty text to go along with it. Then it was gone. Such a sad story! So I got in a fight with Blog Universe, crossed my arms, huffed and sighed, then stomped away. And we wonder where Homey gets it. I am just now over it, and ready to talk risotto.

Risotto sounds so fancy and elite. I mean, it does to someone with a 4 year old who would gladly live on hot dogs and tomato slices if I let her. But my good eater also loves grilled salmon and lamb ya know...don't be afraid to venture from hot dogs and dino nuggets. They just might love it! They will love this risotto!

I actually started making this recipe because Tracy found it on the website of our local specialty grocery store. Here it is in it's original form, since I've made a few changes here and there. The great thing is once you get the hang of it, you can substitute all sorts of ingredients. Instead of the bacon and corn in this version, you could easily use peas, chopped asparagus, or's one of those creative dishes like pizza or quiche. Put anything you want into it!

And here's my other disclaimer: This is another stirring recipe. I'm so sorry. I'm not sure why this keeps happening! The mac and cheese, the custard, and now risotto. Contrary to popular belief, I do not love to stir. It just seems like the best results come from putting a little wrist-grease (as opposed to elbow grease, of course) into it. Trust me. This is soooo worth it. And I have a laptop, so I can still function virtually while I stir. I think that's key.

To make it you need:

1 cup of white rice (I don't mess with Arborio. Regular rice works just fine!)
1 quart of chicken broth
1 cup of white wine (not pictured because I forgot it)
1/2 stick of butter
1 1/2 cups corn (frozen or canned...I prefer frozen, but that's just me)
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
2 cloves of garlic minced
4 slices of bacon

I start deviating from the recipe rather immediately. It calls for 6 slices of bacon. I do 4 slices. Don't get me wrong. I heart bacon. I'm big on the pig. I think I'm a fan of bacon on Facebook. But 4 is plenty and it's easier for me just to nuke the bacon on my Baconizer. I, for some reason, have trouble fixin' bacon in a skillet. It's a problem, I know. But I have this contraption that just makes my life easier. Like I said, I've named it the Baconizer:

Remember the rule for my version is one minute a slice, plus a minute. Four slices=Five minutes. It keeps me from making a giant mess and burning myself somehow. It's worth it.

So once your bacon is cooked, however you're best at it, drain it on paper towels and throw your garlic in the grease. (If you baconize it, just pour the drippings in your saucepan and heat it up.) Um...YUM! Oh yeah, I skip any kind of onion in this dish. I like onion, but unless I have a scallion on hand (which I didn't. And don't on any kind of regular basis.), I just don't want any other kind of onion overpowering this dish. That's just me. If you love an onion, throw it in there with the garlic and saute until tender. I'm certainly not trying to tell you what to do here. Use the onion if you want!
Then once the stuff of your choosing is in there workin', throw in your uncooked rice. Start knocking it around, as per the original recipe, for about 3 minutes. Oh, you're going to want you heat around medium, by the way. Maybe a tad less, depending on your stove.

Then the fun starts! Grab a neighbor, a beverage of your choice, and your laptop. Get everything you need within arms reach, put on a TV show for Homey. Tell her it's "special". It works.

Pour in the wine. This is what it'll look like:
A big giant soupy mess. But stir on, brothers and sisters! Because in a few minutes it's going to look like this:

It's magic. It really is. So when you get to this point, add the broth 1 cup at a time. You'll start out soupy, then it will look like this again. Keep going until the broth is gone. I'm gonna say that's going to take about 20-30 minutes. (Oh, and this isn't quite as delicate as the white sauces for mac and cheese or custard. If you absolutely have to refill some apple juice, change the channel because Homey doesn't "love this show", or load the dishwasher in an OCD manner, it won't kill the just don't want to leave it so long that it'll start burning to the bottom. Because it will eventually. Small multitasking, people...don't vacuum or clean out your car. Just refill the juice.)

Anyway, in the meantime, if you're using frozen corn, just throw it in some simmering water to warm it up. Let it go for a few minutes. Then....
Add that corn! Then add in the butter and parmesan! Here's a good example of why you should have your ingredients within arms reach. In my kitchen anyway. It's tiny. My dog is not. He likes to be in the same square foot that I'm in. Get out of the kitchen, Jake.

Mix all that goodness up, then crumble the bacon you cooked way back before you started stirring. Throw that in there too. Plate it up, folks.

It goes well with everything. So make it. Tonight. Or tomorrow if you already have something else on your meal plan. Do you have a meal plan? I have a meal plan 3 weeks in advance. Is that weird? I prefer the term endearing if you think meal plans are weird. But anyway, it's totally worth it to make this recipe. Let me know what else you find to stir in. I think I need to use mushrooms next time. Yum.


  1. And if anyone can clue me in as to how to get the pics and text spacing right on this silly thing, please let me know!

  2. That's something I have never tried--to cook or eat. It really looks delicious! Wish I could taste yours before I go to all that stirring trouble!

  3. I'll make it next time we're all at the lake or something. It really does go with anything. I would have to double it at the lake so someone would have to take shifts with me on the stirring :)