April 6, 2005


Baked risotto with bacon and peas (Adapted from The Instant Cook by Donna Hay)

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 strips bacon, chopped
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots (2-3 bulbs)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups arborio rice
5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, warmed
1 cup frozen green peas
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat oil in oven-safe Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon and cook for 2 minutes, then add shallots and thyme and cook until bacon is crisp and shallots begin to brown, 3-5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add rice. Cook, stirring, for a minute or two until rice grains are coated with oil. Add warm stock. Stir well, cover and bake 30 minutes. Add peas, stir, and return to oven to cook uncovered 10 minutes more.

Remove risotto from oven, add Parmesan, add salt and pepper to taste, and stir 2-3 minutes, until mixture has thickened. Stir in parsley and serve.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 6, 2005 12:30 PM

Uh, this is not risotto. What she seems to be doing is making a pilaf with risotto rice. It is doubtful that you would get the proper texture and creaminess using this method. There is a reason for adding in small measures of liquid at a time.

Better off to use a long-grained rice (Basmati) - rinsed, I think - reduce the liquid a bit and call it by its proper name. Personally, I love pilafs as well but the canned broth and dried thyme are a turn off.

Making stock, especially chicken, is a no-brainer, costs little more than canned and makes a hugh difference in the end product. Just made about 2 gallons Sat at a cost of less than $20. Ladle 4 cups each into freezer bags and you'll always have it available with a quick defrost.

Orrin, just curious if you make any of these dishes.

Posted by: Rick T. at April 6, 2005 1:21 PM

Rick T:

You can also freeze a portion of the stock in ice cube trays and bag it for the occasion when you need only a few tablespoons.

Posted by: Fred Jacobsen (San Fran) at April 6, 2005 4:46 PM