Sunday, June 7, 2015

Broccolini, Leek, and Cheddar Risotto

There is really nothing more comforting than a creamy bowl of cheesy rice. Risotto is an impressive meal but it isn't as daunting as you might think. It does take some time and some stirring, but its not crazy. Honestly, I load some dishes or some other kitchen based task while I make it so I can stay close to stir often, but not just stand there bored.

I actually double the amount of risotto I make and make risotto cakes with the leftovers. That is almost my favorite part about risotto (recipe to come). If you use this recipe as a side dish not a main, there will probably be enough leftovers for that as well.

2 leeks, trimmed, sliced, and washed well (can use an onion instead)
4 slices bacon, cut into strips
2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup beer or dry white wine
6-8 cups chicken stock (home made is great for this! Veggie stock would work too)
1 bunch broccolini, cut into one inch pieces (can sub with a couple cups broccoli)
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
salt and pepper to taste

Warm the broth in a sauce pan. Keep on low to keep warm.

Heat a deep skillet on medium. Add bacon and stir often.  Remove with a slotted spoon once crisp. Leave bacon juices.

Add leeks and sauté a few minutes, until soft. Add rice and toss until coated in bacon love. Toast for a few minutes, stirring often.

Add beer. Stir well. Once absorbed, add 2 ladlefuls at a time to rice. Stir often. Once broth is absorbed, add 2 more ladlefuls. Continue the process. Add the chopped broccolini once about 2/3rds of the broth is gone. It will be done when the broth is absorbed and the rice is al dente, and there is a creamy sauce surrounding it all.

Add the cheese and bacon and turn off the heat. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hot.