We are all wired so very differently. I see this in the fundamental differences as my husband and I squeeze toothpaste onto our brushes. He pushes from the end and I just squeeze in the middle. Some of us are planners, type-A’s who really and truly like structure, who enjoy a good agenda, and don’t enjoy steering off the course. Some of us are coffee people, while others still, prefer tea.
Me? I’m a bacon gal. I enjoy a good, rich cup of coffee with a splash of milk, but not stirred. I’d rather the milk find it’s own way in the dark liquid roast. I appreciate a beautiful feast and when things are prepared with love, care, and a unique twist, I will absolutely, most definitely cry. My parents tell me that when I was little I threw tantrums and that period of time lasted for about a year. This week as I was reading a book on discipline to figure out a bit more about how my own child’s actions give me insight into how he is wired and it’s said that the most sensitive children are the ones to throw tantrums. As an adult, I see that this is probably true. There are times that I see an injustice, a picture of love, or a beautiful meal and in seconds I’m in tears-still sometimes the only way I know how to process something of great magnitude.
And so, I’ve learned to implement a few rituals in my life which help me mull things over and process them in a way other than an overflow of emotions. Although these change with the seasons, my rituals of late include sipping a glass of wine, Adele, yoga, Mumford and Sons, a long run, cooking, and, of course, a hot cup of coffee.
My husband and I, we are wired so very differently. Beautifully different as we fit like puzzle pieces in many regards. He’s not an emotional processor, but a decisive man who is committed to his decisions and the integrity of them. He doesn’t waiver, but thoughtfully and silently prays and thinks things over until he’s confident enough to announce his thoughts. While I’m still processing through the first page the ink I’ve scribbled on my heart, he’s waiting patiently at the end. Most of the time, we end up on the same page, and when we don’t, we wait and talk some more until we get there. But most of the time, as long as I’ve taken the time to process, and he to think and pray, we find one another there.
Risotto is a dish that takes awhile. There is a process of constant stirring, adding and stirring some more. Albeit the need to process, this one is more of a hands off version. There is less time spent during the cooking and more time spent on the preparing and enjoying. Because the process isn’t just in the cooking, each step plays and equal role.
Bacon Herbed Risotto
Yield: serves 6
Recipe adapted from Annie's Eats
1½ tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 yellow onion, chipped
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1 pound bacon ( I used Applewood smoked bacon but your favorite kind will do perfectly)
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
¾ tsp. salt
2 cups white rice (medium grain rice is recommended. I didn't have that, so I just used a long grain rice)
1 cup dry white wine
2 oz. grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 cup)
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley
2 tbsp. minced fresh chives
Ground black pepper to taste
Place 1/1/2 tablespoons butter into a large skillet over medium heat. As butter begins to melt, place onions in with the butter and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent. Once the onions are translucent, remove form the heat and skillet, place them on a plate to cool and set aside.
Using the same skillet without removing any of the grease from the onions, begin to cook the bacon according to your liking. I enjoy my bacon cooked all the way through but not crispy. To this end, I cook the bacon over medium to low heat about 3-4 minutes on each side. Once bacon is done, remove from heat and set on a plate to cool. Once bacon is completely cooled, chop into small pieces (or larger) according to what size bacon pieces you'd like in your risotto.
Use a large saucepan and bring the chicken broth and water to a simmer. This may take a few minutes, but better to wait for it using medium to low heat than to use high heat. Once it's simmering, leave it on low, high enough to continue to simmer but low enough to not allow it to boil.
Add 2 tablespoons butter to a large, heavy bottomed sauce pan or dutch oven and place over medium-high heat. Once melted, add the rice and stir constantly, allowing the rice to cook and the edges become translucent. This process will not take long, only about 3-4 minutes. Add the wine, and continue to cook until the wine is fully absorbed, approximately another 5 minutes. Slowly stir 5 cups of hot broth and water mixture, and switch to medium-low heat. Continue to simmer, stirring only twice, until liquid has been absorbed into the rice and the rice is fully cooked. This will take only about 15-20 minutes.
Once cooked, stir in 3/4 more cups of the hot broth and water mixture and stir gently until the risotto becomes creamy. Add more mixture if you feel as though you'd like the consistency to be thinner. Stir in the parmesan cheese. Remove form heat, cover and allow it to sit for 5 minutes.
While risotto is resting, get the bacon, onions, lemon and herbs ready. After the 5 minutes is up, stir in the remaining ingredients so they are equally incorporated. At this point, again feel free to loosen up the risotto a bit more by added more of the broth and water mixture.
Serve warm and enjoy!