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Friday, December 7, 2012

Bacon and Leek Risotto with an Egg

Mpfm pfmmrp drfp! Oh, I'm sorry. I really shouldn't talk with my mouth full, but this risotto is beyond amazing! I can't stop eating it! haha. I love, love, love risotto in all its forms and with any ingredients available to me. My favorite is mushroom risotto made with unique wild mushrooms and drizzled with truffle oil. I have made that entree more times than I can count, and while it is an indulgence, I always try and look for other variations. 

To date, this is one of the tastiest, most flavorful dishes I have ever made. I don't always love what I make, let's be honest. It can taste great, but it doesn't WOW me. Sometimes to me it is just cooking to get dinner on the table. I can tell you I will remember this meal for months to come.

I work just so I can buy wonderful ingredients to cook with. I always try and plan my meals each week so I can go to the grocery store just once. ONCE. That usually never happens. This delightful meal had me running to Adam's at almost 6pm last night for the freshest ingredients. I can't say I really minded. ;-)

This recipe is from a back issue of Bon Appetit Magazine. I followed the recipe as it was written except for the part about the egg. I'm really not a lover of eggs, so I had to make the egg the way I wanted it if this meal was going to work for me. The recipe called for poached eggs on top, so if you decide to make this, that is the egg that is really supposed to go on top. :-) The recipe serves 6 people, so you will have a lot of leftovers depending on who you're cooking for. 

What you will need:
- 6 large eggs
- 5 cups low sodium, low salt chicken broth (I use College Inn)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 6 slices of bacon, diced or cut into small pieces
- 2 cups leeks, sliced thin (about 2 large)
- 1 1/2 cups risotto rice
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 3 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- Additional chopped parsley and Parmesan for garnish

My heart is pounding as I write up this is so GOOD!! haha. Start by pouring your chicken broth into a small pan and bringing it to just below a boil. Turn the broth to a simmer and put a lid on it. When you cook risotto you need to make sure your broth is nice and hot before you add it to the risotto. This is an important step and a good one. 

Next, add the olive oil to your pan and add the bacon. Let the bacon cook down and become all crispy, crunchy and just amazing. Take a nice deep inhale as you're cooking because this is, indeed, one of the best smells EVER. ;-) BACON!! Your house will smell really fragrant for the rest of the night. It's a win/win.

Once the bacon is crisp, remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon, and let it drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Don't drain the bacon fat from the pan! I know, I know, it's not exactly part of your healthy diet, but you can make an exception just this ONE time. Moving along, add your sliced leeks to the pan and sautee. Do this for a few minutes until they soften, and be sure not to burn them. While the leeks cook they will absorb all the flavors of the bacon. Yum, yum, yum. Take about 2 tablespoons of the leeks out of the pan and put them in a bowl to the side. 

Take the risotto rice and add it to your pan of deliciousness which contains your leeks sauteed in bacon drippings. At this point you're toasting the rice, and it really brings out the nutty flavor of the grains. Do this for about a minute. I know it sounds weird, but don't skip this step either. All these little things make a difference.

Add the white wine to the pan and let the grains absorb the liquid. The risotto really begins to cook at this point. Begin adding the broth a ladle at a time. With each ladle full of broth, the rice will start to absorb the liquid and you will see it begin to grow. It will take about 20 minutes for you to add all the broth and for it to absorb. Don't add the next scoop of broth until the rice soaks up the previous spoonful.

The key to a good risotto is to keep stirring. This isn't the kind of dish you can make and walk away from. You have to stand there and keep stirring otherwise it doesn't work. Just keep stirring. (That reminds me of the movie Finding Nemo. "Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming." haha Just keep stirring!) Once the broth is finished, you should see a nice creamy risotto. 

To the finished pot add the butter. Stir the butter briskly into the rice so the starches are really released. Add the bacon, cheese, and parsley until incorporated. 

Last, but certainly not least, is the egg. I'm sure this probably sounds really weird to you, and I'm sure you can't imagine everything coming together, but this really does make sense. As I said earlier, the recipe calls for a poached egg, but I'm really not partial to poached eggs. I cook an over-easy egg on the stove because the yolk will still be runny. That's the consistency you want for the egg. If you like poached eggs, and you know how to make one, by all means! The combination of the egg, and then the egg yolk opening over all the other delicious flavors in the's seriously a stunning meal. 

Go to your kitchen right now and see if you have the ingredients to start making this dish. Sometimes it's worth it to go out and spend a few extra dollars on fresh and delicious ingredients. You'll have plenty of leftovers, and the best part is, you don't have to share if you don't want to. :-) Bon Appetit!


  1. I really want to make this! I just have to make sure my little one is out of the way.

    1. It's really simple, and I'm certain you will absolutely love it! It does take some uninterrupted time, so maybe try it during nap time. ?? :-) let me know when you do try it. Take pictures, and of course, please share this page and recipe with people you know. Thanks!! :-)