I figured even if the power did go out, the stove part of my oven would still work, being gas and all (oven itself would be out, that part is electric for whatever reason) and that the dish would be that much better in candle light anyway. The power never went out, we didn't get a monster-load of snow, just a bit over a foot, and I got to leave work early anyway. Not bad.
Also, this risotto was pretty bomb. The local grocery store sold the scallops at a steep discount because they assumed they'd be closed during the storm, so I really lucked out here. I even pared the meal with steaks marinaded in a homemade marinade, making this a real surf n' turf dinner.
|The Cast of Alice in Wonderland!|
I remember one play I was in--actually, my most hated theater experience to this date!--where we were snowed out and had to re-schedule the play for months later. Not fun! With all the work that everyone has put into this production, it would have been horrible to put it on hold.
|This photo courtesy of NRP|
But she also made my dress and a handful of other costumes! Like the caterpillar.
Oh, and if you REALLY want a laugh... check out the youtube promo video we made, with certain characters doing a trendy dance of some sort... The Harlem Shake I guess?
Anyways, onto the recipe!
Bacon Scallop Risotto
(Basic risotto recipe from here, additions and changes are my own)
- 1 package of bacon, diced
- 1 cup bay scallops, rinsed
- 1½ cups arborio rice
- 1 handful spinach
- 1 qt chicken stock
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 small onion
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- salt, to taste
*Most risotto recipes require you to heat the stock first--I am too lazy and have yet to do this. It comes out just fine and Pioneer Woman backs me up on this.
In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, cook the diced bacon to desired crispiness. Transfer to a plate and set aside, leaving as much bacon grease in the pan as possible. Raise the heat, and sear scallops on both sides, until scallops are opaque and have a bit of a crust on either side. Set aside and keep warm (I kept both bacon and scallops warm in the oven on a very low setting).
Using a bit of oil and butter, in a separate pan cook half the onion over low heat to caramelize. You may add a sprinkling of sugar to speed up the process. Let them cook while you complete the rest of the steps, checking often to prevent burning. Once the onions are caramelized, set aside. Use the same pan to wilt the spinach, using a bit of butter and oil and also set aside.
Wipe down the saucepan of any scallop juices but do not rinse. Add the the oil and 1 Tbsp of the butter over medium heat, deglazing the pan. When the butter has melted, add the other half of the onion and cook until translucent.
Add the rice to the pot and stir so that the grains are coated with the oil and melted butter. Sauté for another minute or so, but don't let the rice turn brown. Add the wine and cook while stirring, until the liquid is fully absorbed. Add a ladle of stock to the rice and stir until the liquid is fully absorbed. When the rice appears almost dry, add another ladle of stock and repeat until rice is desired consistency. If you run out of stock before the rice is soft and creamy, water or more wine can be used.
Stir in the remaining 2 Tbsp butter, the Parmesan cheese and the parsley, and season to taste with salt. Add the bacon, scallops, caramelized onions, and spinach. You may mix all together or plate it in layers as I've done here.
*I originally wanted Gorgonzola instead of Parm cheese, but I had none left. I imagine it'd taste fantastic with Gorgonzola.