Cook: Corn and Bacon Risotto

Leaving a stable job to start a new venture, while exciting (and going quite well, actually), has left us with a smaller food budget.  My usual cooking process is to decide what I want to make, scan some recipes for basic ideas, then hit up the store and buy the best of the best ingredients.  Having a smaller budget threw a wrench into this little plan, and it's taken me a few weeks to adjust (hence the lack of posting recently).  While ramen is delicious, and will suffice for a few meals per week, eating it for every meal I'm pretty sure will lead to a mental breakdown.  In order to re-ignite my desire to make delicious food, I decided to hit up the farmers' market.  I picked up some sweet corn, and made a plan to use it in a tasty, yet economical, way: with bacon, onions, garlic, and rice.  Slab bacon, purchased from the meat counter, is about $4.50 per pound, while the pre-packed sliced stuff is closer to $8.  Since I was going to be dicing it anyway, I didn't need the thin-cut strips (total cost? $0.87).

Corn and Bacon Risotto
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

3 ears fresh sweet corn, husked
2 strips slab bacon (about 0.2lbs), diced
0.5 tbsp olive oil
0.5 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic
2 c arborio rice
juice of 1 lemon
5-6 c chicken stock
0.25 c grated Parmigiano-reggiano
salt and pepper to taste
2 scallions, sliced, green parts only

(1) Fill a large pot with water; bring to a boil

(2) Boil corn for 8-10 minutes; remove and let cool slightly

(3) Heat oil in deep saute pan over medium heat

(4) Add bacon, and saute for about 10 minutes, stirring as needed

(5) Add onion and saute for 3-4 minutes until translucent

(6) Add garlic and saute for 1 minute

(7) Add rice, stirring to coat in oil, and saute for another minute

(8) Squeeze in lemon juice, scraping all of the brown bits from the bottom of the pan

(9) Add 2 c stock, stirring occasionally

(10) When absorbed, add another 2 c stock

(11) Meanwhile, using a sharp knife, scrape the kernels of corn off of the cob

(11) When the 2nd round of stock is absorbed, taste rice to check doneness, if still very al dente, add another 2 c stock, if only slightly al dente, add only 1 c stock

(12) Add corn and stir, breaking up any kernel-clumps as you go

(13) If rice is still not done, continue adding stock in 1 c increments until done

(14) Remove from heat and stir in parmegiano-reggiano, and salt and pepper to taste

(15) Serve topped with scallions and additional cheese

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What was cooking this time last year?  Two years ago?

Notes: I make my risotto the lazy way - adding liquid faster than you're supposed to, not stirring the whole time, and not pre-heating the liquid.  Sure, there are subtle differences, but if you're not making it for a special occasion, I really don't think it's worth the extra effort.

1 comment:

Jen said...

Looks yummy :) I never thought to buy the slab bacon, but as often as we eat it maybe I should!

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