Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Risotto with Spiced Pear, Bacon and Pecans

Risotto is possibly one of my favorite dishes. It's such perfect comfort food, it's easy to make (once you figure it out once, you're good for life) and so many things can be added to it to make a delicious dish. I think my various risotto concoctions are probably some of my most successful experiments. This recipe is no exception. My bf and I loved it. My only complaint is that is really doesn't make a whole lot. We had two big bowls and it was gone, so I guess prepare ahead.

Risotto with Spiced Pear, Bacon and Pecans
Adapted from Tasty Kitchen
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 4 slices thinly sliced Turkey Bacon, Diced
  • ¼ cups Pecan Pieces, Toasted
  • 2 whole Large Shallots, Diced
  • ¾ cups Arborio Rice (orzo Also Works In A Pinch)
  • ⅓ cups White Wine
  • 2-½ cups Warm Chicken Stock Or Broth
  • 1 whole Ripe Pear; Peeled, Cored And Diced
  • ⅛ teaspoons Freshly Grated Nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoons Freshly Grated Cinnamon
  • ¼ cups Freshly Grated Parmigiano Reggiano
I started by cooking the bacon in a tablespoon of olive oil. While the bacon was cooking I chopped the shallots and started peeling the pear.

When the bacon was nice and crispy, but not burned, I removed it from the skillet using a slotted spoon. I made sure to keep the oil and bacon grease in the pan so I could use the mixture to cook the shallots (for about 4 minutes).

Once the shallots were turning golden brown, I added the risotto. I cooked the risotto in the oil for a few minutes and then added the wine. I let the risotto cook in the wine for another few minutes, stirring all the while, until the wine was pretty much absorbed.

I then added half of the pear and a 1/2 cup of the warmed chicken broth to the skillet. I stirred the risotto, pretty much constantly, until the liquid was absorbed and then added another 1/2 cup and repeated.

This picture is how the risotto looked when I had about half of the broth left. The risotto should continue to get a little thicker and more creamy with each addition of broth.

When all of the broth but one 1/2 cup was absorbed, I added the rest of the pear with the last bit of broth. After that last bit of broth was absorbed, I added the cinnamon and nutmeg, then mixed in the bacon, pecans (which I had already toasted), and the Parmesan. When everything was well blended, I spooned the risotto into bowls. The picture doesn't do a good job of showing the the bacon and the pecans, but they actually made a good showing. It was amazing!

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