Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bacon and Leek Risotto with Poached Eggs

This recipe is from the April 2011 issue of Bon Appétit. The Engineer and I both really liked it. It’s not very labour-intensive, as far as risottos go (count on 1 hour), and the bacon and eggs give it that extra oomph other recipes don’t have. As you know, I never bother making my own chicken broth, but I do like having some Better Than Bouillon base on hand; it takes up hardly any room in the fridge, keeps for a very long time and has a rich flavour. Bonus, it’s gluten-free (at least, the low-sodium chicken base I have is). We got 4 servings out of this meal.

4 large eggs
5 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 Tbsp olive oil
6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces
2 cups thinly sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only; about 2 large)
1 ½ cups Arborio rice or medium-grain white rice (about 10 oz)
¾ cup dry white wine
3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese
fresh Italian parsley leaves (for garnish)
additional finely grated Parmesan cheese (for garnish)

Bring broth to simmer in medium saucepan; cover to keep warm.

Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp, stirring occasionally. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Add leeks to drippings in pan; cook until soft but not brown, stirring often, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer 2 generous tablespoonfuls leeks to small bowl; reserve for garnish. Add rice to pan; stir 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine; stir until absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add ½ cup warm broth to saucepan; stir until broth is absorbed. Repeat adding broth and stirring until rice is tender but still firm to bite and sauce is creamy, stirring almost constantly, about 23 minutes total. Add bacon, chopped parsley, butter, and 2 tablespoons cheese. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Meanwhile, poach the eggs in a pot of water that is just simmering over medium heat. Cook until whites are cooked through, but yolks are still runny, about 4-5 minutes.

Divide risotto among 4 bowls or plates. Top risotto in each bowl with poached egg. Sprinkle egg with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley leaves, additional cheese, and reserved leeks.

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