risotto recipe, blue cheese risotto, truffle risotto recipe, mushroom risotto, bacon blue cheese and mushroom risotto

Blue cheese, mushroom and bacon risotto, topped with truffle and garlic breadcrumbs

Earlier this week, in the middle of a working day, I decided I needed to eat arancini. But that requires risotto – which hereon out I’m promising to always have a batch of in the freezer; I will be the woman with a backup risotto, on hand for any eventuality – so I had to make that first. Below is said risotto, and I can tell you, it was every bit as good plated straight up. For the deep-fried next step, click here.

A deliciously tangy and creamy twist on the classic, I used the blue cheese sauce I’d made for a previous Steak Night as a base for this risotto, then chucked in some portobello mushrooms, red onion, spring onion and garlic, before topping it with all.the.best.things: crispy smoked bacon, truffle oil, actual truffles I got for Christmas, home-made garlic breadcrumbs and a few slithers of Taleggio. The results of this recipe are very generous; I got two good-sized dinner plates, eight arancini and two lunchboxes (bulked up with greens) out of it, so buckle in for cheese-laden rice for the next few days if you’re not feeding a family.

You’ll need:

1 tbsp butter

2tbs olive oil

1 red onion, chopped

4 spring onions, sliced

250g risotto

1 large glass white wine

2 pints chicken stock

Blue cheese sauce (I use this recipe)

2 Portobello mushrooms, or a few more of smaller types, chopped up small

1 clove garlic, grated or in puree form

4 rashers smoked bacon, cooked and cut into bits

Truffle oil

Truffle slices from a jar

Breadcrumbs (I make my own by grilling old bread with garlic oil, salt and pepper, and then blitzing in the NutriBullet)

A few slithers of cheese (I used Taleggio here, but a crumble of leftover Stilton would also be great)

risotto recipe, blue cheese risotto, truffle risotto recipe, mushroom risotto, bacon blue cheese and mushroom risotto

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large cast-iron dish, then add the red onion, spring onion and mushrooms – let them cook for 4-5 minutes.

Add the risotto rice and stir to stop it sticking. Once translucent – a few minutes – add half the wine. Once that’s absorbed, add the rest. Add the garlic now too and give it a few minutes to cook but don’t let it brown.

Over the next 30 minutes or so, stir in the chicken stock bit by bit, making sure to keep stirring and letting each bit absorb before pouring again. You get me?

Now pour in the cheese sauce. The risotto should look really thick and creamy now. If it gets too dry at any point, add a splash of wine.

Stir in half the bacon and serve with the rest piled high on top, along with the garlicky breadcrumbs, sliced truffle and extra cheese. Finish with a generous dousing of truffle oil and black pepper.

Got leftovers? You’re going to want to turn them into my easy-peasy oven-baked arancini!

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