Monday, January 7, 2013

BLT Turkey Risotto

The initial goal of this blog was to teach myself how to cook and learn the basics on my own. Three years later, I find myself incredibly comfortable in the kitchen and can quickly throw together a pretty decent meal without little preparation. The younger version of me that started this blog would be so proud!! But sadly, with that comfort comes a lack of change in my kitchen so I like indulge myself every now and then with an exceptional dish.

Last week, I opted for BLT Turkey Risotto. I was cooking for my boyfriend's friends so on top of pleasing my appetite, I wanted to wow them with my culinary skills. I think this recipe did the trick, though I highly advise you use bacon instead of pancetta. While pancetta is quite tasty, there is nothing better than some fatty, in your face, bacon flavor to liven up a meal. Plus, boys love bacon! (DUH!)

Regardless of which porky meat you choose, I highly recommend this dish. In one delightful little bowl your body enjoys grains, protein, dairy and veggies. I think that's a pretty balanced meal...even if it's not quite the lightest dish you've ever eaten. ;)

Sorry for the poor picture quality. I only had my boyfriends phone handy.
6 cups chickn broth
1 stick unsalted butter
4 oz diced pancetta
1 onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 lb ground turkey
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
4 cups baby arugula
3/4 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

1) In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Lower the heat to low and cover to keep warm. 
2) While the broth is boiling, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and cook the turkey until fully browned.
3) Next, in a large saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring, until crisp and golden, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Add 2 more tablespoons butter and the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice and cook for 1 minute; add the wine and cook until absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add about 1/2 cup warm stock and cook, stirring constantly, until absorbed. Continue adding the stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring, until the rice is al dente and cooked through, about 20 minutes (the risotto should be slightly soupy, but not runny). 
4) Stir in the turkey and tomatoes and cook, stirring, until the tomatoes soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the remaining 4 tablespoons butter, the arugula, 1/2 cup cheese and the pancetta. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese.

Unless they were being nice the guys said they absolutely LOVED the meal.  Obviously, I was beyond thrilled that the dish went off without a hitch! I could rest easy that night. ;)


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