Risotto is a dish that is creamy, scrumptious and filling.
The beauty of preparing risotto is that you can add just about anything you’d like.
You can use various types of vegetables, herbs, and meat. You can make with or without meat.
Risotto is a comfort food, as it is filling, and is a wonderful dish for leftovers.
Risotto can be a side dish (without meat) but it is also often consumed as a complete meal (when prepared with meat).
Unlike other rice that is left in a pot of water to boil, risotto rice requires constant attention to ensure a perfectly finished dish.
The rice is not to be pre-rinsed, boiled, or drained, as washing would remove much of the starch required for a creamy texture.
When Arborio rice is cooked slowly with stock (usually chicken or vegetable stock) it allows the amylopectin starch to be released.
As a result, the rice takes on a smooth, creamy texture.
A 1/3 cup of uncooked Arborio rice (used in preparing risotto) has about 166 calories.
Bacon and Spring Pea Risotto
4 pieces bacon
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 cups arborio rice
4 cups chicken stock, hot
1 cup frozen peas and carrots
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut bacon into small bite-sized pieces. Add to a large, deep, skillet and cook until crispy. Remove from pan to cool.
Drain most of the bacon grease, leaving about 1 Tbsp. in the pan. Add diced onions and cook on low heat until translucent.
Turn heat to medium and add uncooked rice to the pan. Stir to coat in bacon grease.
Add 1 cup hot chicken stock, reduce heat to low and stir while rice absorbs the liquid. Once it’s absorbed, add another 1 cup and repeat until all the liquid is gone and rice is tender.
This process should take about 20 minutes.
Next, add to tender rice frozen peas and carrots, lemon zest, cilantro and bacon. Mix in well.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve warm.