I made something amazing, and you're looking at it. Its varying shades of brown look underwhelming, but it tasted spectacular.
It was packed with bacon, pungent cheese, and chewy, dried figs.
Risotto is from Northern Italy. If Wikipedia is to be believed, it is served before the main course.
Expert cooks, like myself, use a starchy, short to medium grain rice. I used arborio. Arborio rice is named after a town in the valley where the rice is grown.
The original recipe came from allrecipes.com, but it is impossible the original is as good as my version. My version has bacon and blue cheese, two of the best foods in the world.
The ingredients are 6 cups chicken broth, 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, 12 ounces portobello mushrooms, 2 diced shallots, 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1/2 cup water, salt, pepper, 6 slices bacon, 3 tablespoons butter, 1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese, and 20 dried figs.
I browned the bacon in the same pan as I would cook the rice. I added the broth to a pan to simmer while I browning the bacon.
In another skillet, I heated the olive oil and then added thinly sliced mushrooms. I let the mushrooms cook until they were soft, which took 4 minutes on high heat.
I left the bacon fat in the pan after I browned the bacon. I added the diced shallots and cooked them for a minute over medium-high heat.
I added the diced figs and sauteed them for another minute.
I added the rice. I browned the rice in the fat and chopped onion for about three minutes. The onion and fat flavor base is called a soffritto.
I added the water and vinegar. I continued to stir the mixture until the liquid had evaporated or been absorbed by the rice.
I added the warm broth a half of a cup at a time. I stirred the rice while the broth evaporated or was absorbed before adding another half a cup. The entire process took over twenty minutes. It was a labor of love.
I added the chopped bacon and mushrooms and removed the risotto from the heat.
I added the butter and blue cheese.
I stirred until the butter and cheese had melted. It took a minute or two to fully melt.
This dish were phenomenal. There was savory and crispy bacon and sharp and bitter gorgonzola cheese.
The mushrooms didn't provide too much flavor, but added textural interest. The risotto was smooth, creamy, and luscious. The figs were subtle but still discernibly chewy and sweet.
This dish was rich, decadent, and hearty. I enjoyed it immensely, and wouldn't change a thing about it.