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So, no sooner had I cooked Dr. Matthews’ favorite meal EVER, when I made another meal which he proclaimed to be his favorite.  He was hesitant to say this, since he had just said it about the shrimp and grits, but he is an honest man and I truly believe this meal became his new favorite.

I have wanted to make risotto for a while, but was somewhat intimidated by the process and had been putting it off for some time.  I finally decided it was time to take the bull by the horns – after all, I had some perfectly good bacon sitting in my fridge, had bought the arborio rice a while back and have actually been developing a taste for mushrooms (yay!).  Thus, the following goodness occurred:

Creamy Mushroom, Onion and Bacon Risotto

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 5 slices bacon chopped
  • 6 ounces baby bella mushroom sliced thin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup Marsala wine (I used some dry white, but will try to hunt down Marsala next time)
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 5 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 ounces gratedparmesan or romano cheese (I used fresh grated romano)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat with oil. Add onion and bacon and cook until bacon is almost crisp and onion is tender (about 5-6 minutes) (This seemed to take longer for me)
  2. Stir in mushrooms and 1/4 tsp salt and cook for 5 minutes until mushrooms are tender.
  3. Add 1/2 of the wine and stir until liquid is absorbed (about 3-4 minutes)
  4. Add rice and stir until rice is light brown (about 4-5 minutes) then stir in remaining wine stirring until all liquid is absorbed
  5. Have the chicken broth simmering on the stove while you are preparing the above steps
  6. Add 1/2 cup of hot broth to rice mixture; stirring constantly until liquid is completely absorbed.
  7. Keep adding in 1/2 cup increments until broth is absorbed each time – this process should take about 25 minutes. Make sure the broth is simmering the entire time
  8. Stir in cheese and butter then season will additional salt and pepper to your liking
Bacon and onions sauteing

Bacon and onions sauteing

Creamy Onion, Bacon and Mushroom Risotto

Sounds simple, right?  Well, it was simple enough, but it did take a long time to get all that broth stirred in.  I set a timer for the 25 minutes just to make sure I was pacing myself right.  And since I can not stand still in one place for that long, I also prepared steamed broccoli and Lemony Sauced Chicken Breasts, to which I added some fresh rosemary from our herb garden, while I was adding the broth.  This chicken paired with the risotto really put it over the top for Dr. Matthews.

 

Makes my mouth water just looking at it.  The risotto was so rich (thanks to all that cheese and butter) it could have been a meal itself.  One trick I learned for making chicken (or any meat) is to remove it from the heat a couple degrees or minutes before it’s totally done.  It will finish cooking with the heat it’s got going internally as long as you don’t cut into it right away.  Waiting about 5 minutes to cut into it will also keep it from drying out.  This really works!  Especially for chicken breasts, which tend to get dry quite easily.

Stay tuned- my next post will include one of my all-time favorite slow cooker meals, along with before and after shots of some home improvement projects I’ve been working on in our new house 🙂

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