This recipe is the perfect mushroom risotto with a touch of bacon, spinach, and parmesan create a creamy, traditional meal that can be served as a main dish or side.
When hubby asked if we could have mushroom risotto for dinner on the weekend, I was thrilled. I love fall food. But then, as I was picking up the ingredients with one of my gal pals, she relayed this story about how hard risotto is to make. I was sort of confused since I have been making it for several years with no fuss. Although I have worked in several restaurants, I don’t consider myself in league with the great chefs of history or anything. I am a simple self-taught home cook who desires fresh, bold flavors. I chuckled and reminded her that with any dish, slow and steady is the key.
And, not to boast, but I am seriously raising the bar with this creamy, dreamy risotto. For this recipe, this is a very traditional risotto that uses a short-grain rice, aborio rice which the most commonly available risotto rice here in the states. There are a few tricks to producing the perfect creaminess. First, heat the chicken stock before you add it to the dish. Second, don’t rush it! Let the flavors soak into the starch of the grain. It is tempting to pour all of the chicken stock in at one time but you will end up with a lump of, well, I don’t know how to put it but it won’t be good. Lastly, the rice does need to be watched over a bit and loved to turn out correctly. It’s not hard though, just stir often and add the stock a bit at a time. That’s it! There is really no secret, just love.
Looking for more warm fall and winter dinner ideas? Check these recipes out:
Rustic Mushroom Risotto
- 5 slices bacon diced
- 1 cup yellow onion diced
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp thyme
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 8 oz mushrooms sliced
- 1 cup Arborio rice uncooked
- 1/3 cup dry sherry
- 4 cups Chicken Broth
- 3 cups spinach stems removed
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- Warm chicken broth over low heat.
- In a large dutch oven over medium heat, add bacon. Cook until crisp and stir occasionally, about 8-10 minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside on paper towels.
- Add onions, oil, thyme, and garlic to drippings. Cook for 1 minute until garlic is fragrant. Sir in mushrooms. Cook until onion is translucent and mushrooms darken, about 8 minutes. Stir in rice and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in Sherry and cook 1 minute or until nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.
- Stir in 1 cup broth, cook until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stir occasionally. Repeat with the remaining stock, 1 cup at a time before adding the next (about 25 minutes total). Stir in spinach, cook for 1-2 minutes until the leaves wilt. Remove from heat and stir in cheese and bacon. Salt and pepper to taste.
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