|Pea and Bacon Risotto|
As I was reviewing some photographs on my hard drive recently, I noticed one that I took a couple of months ago but forgot about it. I remembered my original plan was to use it as a ruse discuss the recent cases of cyber-bullying that many food bloggers have experienced, but I will instead defer to my friends, Nancy of gotta get baked and Dianne of Will Write for Food who have so eloquently wrote about the topic earlier this year. If I may summarize, I think I speak for most food bloggers when I say that we would be happy if you shared our work so long as you ask permission first.
About a year ago, I wasn't satisfied with a risotto that I published so I wanted to clean it up and refine it. Had I published it when I first prepared it, it would have been a seasonal dish with fresh peas but I prepared it again over the weekend using the frozen variety because I remembered it was so flavorful.
I adapted this dish from Food & Wine magazine's website.
6 ounces (approximately 6 slices) bacon, cut into batons
2 cups frozen baby peas, thawed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped fine
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
7 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Finish the mise en place: In a small saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a gentle simmer. Combine 1 cup baby peas with 1 cup water in a blender. Purée and reserve. In a large skillet, render the bacon over medium heat until crisp, approximately 6 minutes. Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate to drain and reserve approximately 1 tablespoon bacon fat.
2. Start the risotto: In the same skillet the bacon was cooked, add the olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and sweat to soften, approximately 5 minutes. Stir the rice into the onions, ensuring each grain of rice is coated in oil evenly. Deglaze with the white wine and stir the rice until it has evaporated. Add enough stock (one or two ladels) to cover the rice and stir continually until all the stock has been adsorbed. Repeat the process of adding more stock and continually stirring until adsorbed until the rice is al dente and creamy, approximately 25 minutes.
3. Finish the risotto: Once the rice is al dente, stir in the reserved bacon, pea purée and the remaining thawed peas until warmed through. Remove from heat and stir in the parmesan, reserved bacon fat and butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Served in warmed bowls and garnish with additional parmesan.
I slightly overcooked the rice in the risotto I prepared this past weekend, but the flavors work well with each other.