Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Asparagus and Leek Risotto with Bacon

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There's no hiding from this picture above so I'm just going to say it...I have a very difficult time getting risotto to that exact right consistency...where it "spreads" when you spoon it onto a plate.

Based on user reviews on epicurious.com...this particular recipe for Asparagus and Leek Risotto with Prosciutto (I used bacon) receives high remarks. One cook went so far as saying, "this recipe results in a perfect risotto each and every time!" "My go to recipe!" says another... "The perfect base risotto..." and so on....and so on...

So, it was with great anticipation that I prepped all my ingredients, gathered my pots and utensils, stretched, took a deep breath and got to ladling and stirring! This time was going to be different.


Leek, rinsed thoroughly...
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Asparagus, trimmed, blanched then shocked in an ice bath to stop cooking...
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While the original recipe calls for prosciutto...all we had was this delicious fresh uncured bacon...a worthy substitute.
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Side note...I took the unused sliced leek and sauteed it up in a bit of the bacon grease (either to eat with something else...or to use as a garnish atop the risotto...) Yum!
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So was the risotto delicious?  Yes!

Did it spread?  Yes!  Not really.

Damn you perfect homemade risotto...why do you elude me?!

(elude...elude...elude...1000x ELUDE...if you follow me on fb or twitter this will make sense...)

Please don't allow my inability to spell master the technique of preparing a proper risotto persuade you from trying this recipe...this Asparagus and Leek Risotto with Prosciutto  (or bacon) is quite good.  My husband was thrilled with its consistency and helped himself to seconds...I knew it was too congealed...but I had seconds too!

So...what are your tricks for making the perfect risotto?

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19 comments:

Pegasuslegend said...

Perfect Risotto and what a lovely flavorful dish this is~

Karen said...

I have no tips to offer...I'm still too scared to try making it at home! The closest I've done is farro risotto, which doesn't really count.
However, spreadable or not, this looks GOOD. I could eat the leeks fried in bacon grease for dinner alone!

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

Your risotto is a hell of a lot better than mine ever is!! The last time I tried I stood there and stirred, added stock, stirred for 90 minutes!! And the damned rice was still crunchy inside. Not al dente, nope flat out crunchy. I've since given up LOL!! Leek, asparagus and bacon however could be the magic trio that makes me try risotto again. It looks delicious, despite its textural issues :)

Design Wine and Dine said...

I KNOW! The recipe says 3o minutes. Mine was still crunchy at 45?! There has to be a TRICK???

Joanne said...

I forget where I read this (Annie's Eats maybe) but Cook's Illustrated has some risotto recipe where you don't have to stir constantly and it supposedly turns out wonderfully every time! I personally think yours looks absolutely delicious. Major plus that it uses asparagus - my favorite spring veggie!

Nuts about food said...

I live in the city of risotto and although I totally still consider myself a cook in training for most dishes, one of the few dishes I think I really know how to make is a risotto. I read the recipe and am not sure what went wrong. The rice is the right variety(carnaroli, arborio and vialone nano are considered the best). It should definitely take less than 30minutes to make a risotto "all'onda", that spreads. I usually ladle the stock in (no measuring cups) and try to keep the rice pretty liquid while cooking, I never let the rice dry out too much. Also, I stir constantly. Perhaps more liquid helps the rice cook faster? Also, risotto continues cooking once you take it off the stove so it should be quite al dente when you take it off of the stove otherwise by the time you serve it it will be clumpy and mushy. To get extra creaminess you add some butter and parmesan cheese a couple of minutes before the risotto is done (mantecatura). There is a tutorial on my blog, maybe it can be of help... http://nutsaboutfooditaly.blogspot.com/2010/09/risotto-al-pomodoro-and-how-to-make.html
The combination and the leeks fried in the bacon fat...yum!

Design Wine and Dine said...

Thanks you guys!

@Joanne ~ I will certainly have to check that out!!!

@Nuts about food ~ Thank you so much! I was thinking I was not using enough liquid perhaps...letting the rice dry out too much. I also love the idea of throwing in the butter at the end! I did add grated parmesan cheese but maybe not enough... I now can't wait to try another!

Jenn said...

I can't offer any tips, as every time I make risotto it comes out a little different!! lol I can say that yours looks and sounds wonderful!

Mary said...

This looks and sounds like a wonderful recipe. I have no tips because my risotto always turns out differently. I have no idea why. Always tasty, but never the same :-). Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Jennifurla said...

For that amount of rice, I almost have a full 3 cups more of broth. I find you do have to stir, but not constantly.

When adding broth, I add only 1 cup at a time. Once that is absorbed, I add the next cup.

Best wishes on the *perfect* risotto. You looks great though. Also try adding in cheese at the end for extra creaminess.

Design Wine and Dine said...

Thanks all! XO Preparing for family to visit...

Simply Life said...

I just made risotto last night - I'm loving this version of it!

France @beyondthepeel said...

This looks delightful. I've been making my risotto with barley for a while now. I find it ups the nutritional content and also makes for a much less fussy meal since you can mostly set it and forget it. Also, one of the best additions to risotto is to gently add some diced avocado right before you serve it. It's amazing!

Pam said...

This sounds really scrumptious and I have yet to make risotto. You are enticing me to do it now because of the asparagus included in it!

Marc van der Wouw said...

Very nice asparagus....love them... thanks for sharing..

Katerina said...

I don't know if this helps but I always have a glass of warm water or stock more than what the recipe calls and pour it in the risotto. Usually the time all recipes state is not exactly the same for every stove or every riso, that's why it differs. When you turn off the stove the risotto must be a little firm on the inside and smooth on the outside and there must be liquid on the pot, because risotto keeps absorbing even when you take it off of the stove! I don't know if that was any help, it is based in my experience. I don't know about it's texture but surely the ingredients you put in this one are delicious!

Lea Ann said...

Too funny...and I'm laughing with you not at you. :-) I really haven't tried making Risotto. I usually have Lundberg boxed, but would like to give it a try one of these days. This recipe sounds really good. Beautiful photo of the leeks in that basket spoon-drainer thing.

Rebecca from Chow and Chatter said...

it tasted good thats the main thing

Magic of Spice said...

Well as it still tasted wonderful that is the main thing...
I do not have much as far as advice but the only thing I noticed about the recipe is when adding the broth it did not state this, but the broth or final liquid should be hot. Next, just make sure that the risotto is never toasted to a brown but just lightly )2 minutes if fine usually).
Probably not helpful but rambling, sorry :)