Recipe! Winter Risotto and When in Winter . . . Photo Album

When in Winter . . .

. . . when leaves put on layers

. . . when delivery trucks slumber

. . . when ice intends to linger

. . . when blooms pause for nature’s mourning

. . . do as Winter’s inhabitants do.

— Winter Risotto —

I am very proud of this dish. Weeks ago, I was playing around with what was left in my fridge and out came this warm risotto recipe. I find it a soothing dish for winter, and I hope you do, too. Though optional, I strongly suggest the cumin. Cumin is what makes this a winter dish to me. All risotto requires that I, and any cook, stick around to monitor it closely. No mind. The frost and ice outside do not tempt me but if they did, this dish would be a good antidote for frozen fingers and toes. 

Serves: Four

Prep time: approximately 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (preferably the already-dried product that comes in a bag, usually sold in produce section, as opposed to the jarred variety)
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 7-9 slices of turkey bacon
  • 1/2 to 1 Tablespoon olive oil (for cooking turkey bacon)
  • 2.5 Tablespoons olive oil (for risotto base)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup risotto
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth (vegetable broth will do as an alternative)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin, optional

Let’s do this!!

To cook bacon:

1. Slice turkey bacon. *See picture to the left.

2. Add 1/2 to 1 Tablespoon olive oil to large, round skillet and set to high heat.

3. Once skillet is hot, add turkey bacon.*In the picture, I’ve stacked bacon to make slicing easy. However, make sure to spread your bacon around the pan so it will evenly cook.

4. Cook for approximately 4-5 minutes, stirring around at least once or twice. Cook to desired crispiness. *If you include up to 9 slices, you may have to do in two batches (no new olive oil added)).

5. Remove bacon from pan and, to help drain the bacon’s grease, place bacon slices on a plate lines with a paper towel.

To cook risotto:

1. Pre-chop your scallions, sun-dried tomatoes, onions and shallot slices. Put to the side.

2. For risotto base, add 2.5 Tablespoons olive oil and 1/2 Tablespoon butter to a large, deep pot and put over medium-high heat.

3. Once oil and butter are hot, add onions and shallot slices. Cook for approximately 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions/shallot are translucent.

6. Reduce heat to medium. Add risotto and stir for approximately 2 minutes.

7. Add one cup chicken broth. Stir frequently until broth is absorbed. This will take approximately 10 minutes.

8. After first cup is absorbed, add second cup of broth, salt and pepper. Once again, stir frequently until broth is absorbed.

9. Add third cup of broth and cumin and absorb almost completely. Pull from heat immediately once only traces of broth are left in the pot.

10. Let sit for 1-2 minutes. Then add bacon, sun-dried tomatoes and scallions. Stir well. Enjoy with a nice loaf of Easy Little Bread from 101 Cookbooks.

Happy cooking! Happy eating!

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