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One show that my husband and I both love is Hell’s Kitchen with Chef Gordon Ramsey. A dish that they seem to make every episode is risotto. I wasn’t really sure exactly what risotto was, but figured there must be something good about it if they made it so frequently. So I looked for a risotto recipe that my family would enjoy and learned about risotto along the way.
Risotto is made from an Italian short grain rice called Arborio Rice. The shorter the grain the more starch in rice contains. So it is the high startch content that helps create the creamy sauce for the risotto. There is a basic risotto recipe in the April 2011 issue of Everyday Food Magazine that, once mastered (I’m still working on that!), can be used as a base for many flavors of risotto. I chose a Leek, Bacon, and Pea Risotto from the October 2009 issue of Everyday Food Magazine. It was a little time consuming and but my family loved it!
LEEK, BACON, AND PEA RISOTTO
1 LEEK, white and green parts only
6 cups CHICKEN BROTH
2 slices BACON, cut crosswise into strips
1 1/4 cups ARBORIO RICE
1/2 cup DRY WHITE WINE
1/2 cup frozen PEAS
1/4 cup finely grated PARMESAN CHEESE, plus more for serving
1 Tablespoon fresh LEMON JUICE
COARSE SALT AND PEPPER
Halve leeks lengthwise; rinse thoroughly. Pat dry; thinly slice. In a saucepan, bring broth to a simmer over medium. Meanwhile, in a large, straight-sided skillet cook bacon over medium, stirring until lightly browned but not crisp, 5 minutes. Add leaks and cook, stirring, until softened, 2 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high. Add rice and cook, stirring until translucent around the edges, 1 minute.
Add wine and stir until evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup broth. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring until broth is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Repeat process, gradually adding broth, until rice is al dente and risotto is creamy (you may not need all the broth), about 35 minutes. Stir in peas after the final addition of broth.
Remove skillet from heat and stir in parmesan. Cover and let stand 2 minutes. Season risotto with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Serve topped with parmesan cheese. ENJOY!