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June 22, 2012

Caramelized-Onion Risotto with Bacon

I had the most wonderful caramelized onion risotto on my trip to Monterey, and have been wanting to attempt to recreate it at home. I found an easy enough recipe, because I've never made risotto before, and so here it is. It was fairly simple, and it turned out pretty good, but nothing like in Monterey. Maybe it was because there were too many other flavors with it, like the bacon and the thyme. I'm also not the best at cooking caramelized onions, I'm too impatient. But anyways, I totally recommend this recipe if you want some nice comforting, creamy risotto.

Here's the recipe adapted from Food and Wine

1/4 pound thickly sliced meaty bacon
1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1 quarts chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1 garlic cloves, minced
1 cups arborio rice
1/2 teaspoon coarsely chopped thyme
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain, then crumble.

2. In a large saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onions and cook over moderately high heat until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft and browned, about 20 minutes. Transfer the onions to a plate. Rinse out the saucepan.

3. Bring the stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover and keep hot over low heat. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the large saucepan. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add enough hot stock to cover the rice, about 1 1/2 cups, and stir constantly over moderate heat until the stock has been absorbed. Continue adding stock, about 1 1/2 cups at a time, and cook, stirring, until it has been completely absorbed before adding more. The rice is done when the grains are just tender and the sauce is creamy, about 20 minutes.

4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the onions, bacon, thyme and 1/2 cup of Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the risotto into bowls and serve with additional Parmesan.

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