Monday, 6 December 2010

Risotto with Bacon and Scallops

This is a fragrant, flavourful dish that will stick to your ribs as you muster up the strength to go shovel the driveway. Symon uses pancetta but I didn't have any on hand so subbed in a whole package of bacon, cut small and fried up crisp. I did have to drain the bacon half way through to get it to crisp, but the rest of the fat I used for frying up the onions. I added the reserved bacon in the last ten minutes. Absolutely delicious and a new fave for my husband.

Risotto is one of those dishes, like its dessert cousin rice pudding, that takes as much liquid as it takes. Be prepared to add more stock and wine if necessary - especially the wine!

Risotto with Bay Scallops
from Live to Cook by Michael Symon
online recipe sourced from iVillage
for Michael Symon Sundays
I love to cook risotto at home; that's where I give it the attention it deserves. It's so soul satisfying to make and to serve and to eat. And it's really easy. It does take patience, however. But, again, this is why I love it, it's a commitment dish. It's not like you can just throw it in a pan and walk away. The key is stirring the rice to release all the starch that makes it creamy and delicious. Keep it simple: sweat garlic and onion in olive oil, add the rice and toast it, then add your wine, cook continuously until it's tender, and finish it with some cheese and a little butter. That's it. I do think it's a preparation that requires fresh stock. Water just doesn't have the flavor or body, and inferior canned broths reduce, thereby intensifying their inferior flavor.

2 tablespoons olive oil       
1 medium yellow onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced       
1/2 cup diced prosciutto (I used 1 pkg bacon)
1 cup Arborio rice       
1 generous pinch saffron
1/2 cup dry white wine       
3 to 4 cups chicken stock
1/2 pound bay scallops, or 1/2 pound sea scallops cut into 1/2-inch pieces       
1/4 cup sliced fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 tablespoon unsalted butter       
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan

Yield: 4 Servings
  1. Heat the olive oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sweat it for 2 minute. Add the garlic and sweat it for 2 minutes more. Add the prosciutto and cook it until it crisps, about 1 minute. Add the rice and let it toast slightly in the hot fat, about 1 minute, stirring with a wooden spoon.    
  2. Reduce the heat to low, add the saffron and wine, and stir continuously until most of the wine has cooked off. Add I cup of the stock and stir continuously until the liquid has cooked off, about 3 minutes. Add another cup of stock and repeat the process. Taste the rice. Continue to add stock in 1/4-cup increments until the rice is tender and the risotto is creamy.
  3. Add the scallops and continue to stir for 2 minutes, or until the scallops are heated through. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the parsley, butter, and cheese and serve immediately.