Let me tell you this: if you haven't tried it, making risotto is easy. EASY.
The only challenging part is standing over the pot stirring for the better part of 25-30 minutes. But, I figure, if you have a glass of wine or two to keep you company, that time just flies by!
Bacon and Mushroom Risotto with Spinach
(from Cooking Light)
4 cups chicken stock (homemade if possible)
6 bacon slices, chopped
1 cup chopped shallots
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced*
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced*
4 ounces oyster mushrooms, sliced*
1 cup uncooked Carnaroli or Arborio rice or other medium-grain rice
1/3 cup Madeira wine or dry sherry
4 cups baby spinach
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Asiago cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
*For the record, I just used cremini. It was all I had on hand.
1. Bring chicken stock to a simmer in a small saucepan (do not boil); keep warm over low heat.
2. 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.
|Mind the dark bits|
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.
Serve with a side of AWESOME.