May 2, 2011

Bacon Leek Risotto with a Poached Egg

You all know at this point that I love eggs.  And carbs.  When I was reading last month’s issue of Bon Appetit, I found a  recipe for a risotto (carb) with bacon (bonus points) and topped with an egg (win!).  I immediately dog eared the page along with a few others and set it aside in my to-make pile of recipes.  Since I did not touch a pot last week, I finally had the chance to try it out the other night and it was delicious!  And I really like it because with the egg it just looks so pretty!

Bacon & Leek Risotto with a Poached Egg
6 strips of bacon
2 large leeks
1 T. olive oil
5 c. chicken stock
½ c. white wine
¼ c. parmesan cheese
1 ½ Arborio rice
1 T. butter

A big step for me was poaching the eggs and therefore it gets its own paragraph.  I had never poached an egg before!  I am not sure what the difference is from frying (besides appearance), but I thought I’d give it a try.  For the sake of my sanity, I poached my eggs in two steps.  There were two of us and I couldn’t figure out the logistics of poaching two eggs at the same time so we could eat together.  So I cooked the almost all the way and then re-heated them right before we ate.  To start, bring water to a simmer and add salt.  Crack an egg into a small bowl and slowly pour into the simmering water.  Cook for three minutes and then remove and place in a bowl with ice water.  Repeat with the second egg (and so on).  Once you are ready to eat, add the semi-poached eggs (all at the same time) back into simmering water for 1-2 minutes and you have hot fresh poached eggs!

For the risotto, slice the bacon into small pieces and slice the leeks thinly, using only the white and light green parts.  In a medium pot, add in the olive oil and bacon and cook until the bacon is nice and crispy.  There will be good browness all over the bottom of the pot.  Remove the bacon, leaving the grease (!!), and add the leeks.  Cook the leeks for a few minutes until they are soft.  Add in the rice and stir until it has absorbed all the grease.  Add in the wine and cook until it’s absorbed.  Add the chicken stock in ½ c. increments, adding more whenever the rice has absorbed the previous addition.  It should take about 25 minutes.  Once it’s finished, add in the butter, cheese, and bacon.  Top with a poached egg and enjoy!

I love love love risotto.  But it’s a love/hate relationship.  Every time I make it, it looks so good and creamy so I take a big bite.  And then I realize that it’s about a bazillion degrees and my tongue is suffering third degree burns.  This recipe included.  From what I could taste after the burning incident, it was delectable.  I am obsessed with the poached egg.  I might start adding eggs to all risottos.  When the yolk breaks, it made the risotto even creamier and added a richness that it was lacking.  Stud and I had this with a big salad and it was a great almost summer dinner.  I also felt so hip using veggies that are in season!  Now all I need is the Farmers Market to open (or for it to STOP RAINING so I can hit others) so I can get fresh veggies!

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