Now that I have your attention, let me tell you about the world’s easiest recipe for risotto. I know what you’re thinking: we can’t make risotto, Maddie! We aren’t professional chefs! But wait—your life is about to change for ever.
I once had a photography professor tell me that making a great print was like making a great risotto; it could take years as well as many failed attempts until you get something you’re happy with.
Let me tell you all right here and right now, that photography isn’t as easy as you may think. Risotto, however, is as simple as breathing (and knowing how to handle a knife).
The first thing you need to do before you start making the risotto is to cook some bacon. Normally my mom says she only uses half the rasher of bacon, but what kind of reasoning is that?! Bacon makes everything better; ergo more bacon will make the dish taste even better!
So, while your pound of bacon is cooking, begin chopping one yellow onion. Remove all of the papery outer layers until you get to the more moist, almost sticky under-layers. Cut the onion cross-wise, keeping sure to have half the root on each piece, like in the picture.
Cut parallel and perpendicular on the onion, and then cut cross-ways to ensure you get dices instead of julienne or slices. We want small squares, not onion rings. (Make sure your knife is sharp. I can practically hear Alton Brown telling me, “Remember: when you start forcing knives around, Bad Things happen.”)
**Make sure to keep an eye on your bacon while cutting your onion***
Once the bacon is fully cooked—making sure it’s on the crispy end of the spectrum, remove the bacon and let it drain on a paper plate layered in paper towels. Drain all of the bacon fat into a separate bowl, then put about 2 tablespoons back into the pan.
Toss all of the onion in the hot pan and cook until translucent, about 5-8 minutes. Once the opaque onion has become see-through, add 1 to 1 ½ cups of short grain Arborio rice. Stir to combine, then cover with chicken or beef broth. *I would not recommend vegetable broth unless you are vegetarian, for it makes the dish rather sweet.*
Every time the chicken stock has cooked down, stir the rice and add enough broth to cover rice and onions once again. Do this until the rice is soft all the way through; then cook off the rest of the liquid. Crumble the bacon into the pan, and grate a little (or a lot if you’re like me) of Parmesan cheese over the rice. Stir until it’s all melted and delicious, then serve and devour!
This recipe just popped into my family’s repertoire of staple meals that we always make. I have no idea where it comes from, but I’ll see what I can dig up. All I know is that is has way too much bacon and Parmesan for Gordon Ramsey.
*Sorry there is no final product picture: that is because bacon risotto is best enjoyed with a glass of wine while watching reruns of Vikings on the History Channel!