Saturday, March 17, 2012

Bacon Love's Labors

This is the recipe that my boyfriend ultimately chose for me to make from the Bacon recipe book. 
I had never made risotto before and I had heard that getting the technique down was quite difficult and required some skill. I was very apprehensive. 

Bacon Butternut Squash Risotto 
Courtesy of "I Love Bacon" Cookbook 

It turned out perfectly! I would make it again in a heartbeat  without fear. One of the best things I've ever made!

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lb applewood double smoked bacon, diced
12 fresh sage leaves, plus 1/2 small bnch sage, stemmed, leaves julienned
1 large red onion
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup white wine
6 cups chicken stock, hot
1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted then crushed
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup shaved parmigianno reggiano for garnish

Preheat oven to 350.

Fill saucepan halfway with water and bring to boil
Add squash and cook for 15 minutes or until tender.
Move squash to a baking sheet coated in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Roast until brown.

In a skillet on medium low heat cook bacon and drain on paper towels.
Fry sage leaves in the bacon fat and drain on paper towels.

Heat olive oil in a large pot on medium heat.
Add onion until translucent.
Add rice and coat with oil.
Add white wine and stir until the wine is absorbed.
Add chicken stock ONE LADLE AT A TIME, stirring constantly until liquid is absorbed (THIS PART IS ESSENTIAL!!) Usually will take up to 20 minutes.
After about 15 minutes, add squash, bacon, pecans, sage and parsley.

Lastly add butter and season with salt and pepper.
Garnish with shaved parm and serve. Bon Apetit!

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