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I love Italian risotto and Chinese fried rice. This recipe blurs the line between East and West. If you make it, you’ll be rewarded with the wonderful flavors of fried rice with the velvety texture of risotto. Yum!
Bring the water to a boil in a large, covered saucepan. Turn to medium-low when it starts to boil, but keep it covered at all times. As noted in the recipe, you can substitute part of the water with chicken stock. In fact, I often add 1 can of chicken stock and add enough water to total about 6 cups. You may not need all 6 cups.
While the water is heating, add the chopped bacon to a large skillet (and I do mean a LARGE skillet), then set the skillet on a burner over medium heat. Starting the bacon from a cold skillet will help it render more fat. Cook the bacon until crispy. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel using a slotted spoon. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat.
Add the onions to the bacon drippings in the skillet. Saute the onion for about 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the Arborio rice and stir to coat. Cook the rice without adding any liquid for about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. This helps to give risotto its classic “al dente” bite. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute longer.
By now, your water should be hot. Add 4 ladles of the water (about 2 cups) to the skillet, enough to cover the rice. Add the soy sauce and rice vinegar and stir to combine. Using a wooden spoon (which helps to keep the rice intact), stir the rice from time to time. Do not put a lid on the skillet. The liquid in the rice should be lightly simmering. If it is simmering too briskly, turn down the heat.
Cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed, which should take 4 to 5 minutes. Add another 2 ladles of the hot water (about 1 cup) and allow it to be absorbed by the rice, stirring every once in a while, another 4 to 5 minutes.
When most of the liquid has been absorbed, add the carrots. Add another cup of the hot water and cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed, stirring every so often.
By the time the liquid from the last addition has been absorbed, the rice should have been cooking in water for about 12 to 15 minutes. Add the peas and one last cup of the hot water. (It is certainly possible that you may not end up using all of the water. Or you may. It depends on your brand of rice, the humidity, how quickly you’re simmering the rice, etc.) You should stir the rice more often at this point. After a couple of minutes, I start heating a small skillet for the scrambled eggs. The rice needs to have been cooking in the liquid for a total of about 18 to 20 minutes.
After the water has been absorbed, add 2 tablespoons of butter to the risotto and stir aggressively.
At this point, quickly scramble the eggs by adding 1/2 tablespoon of butter to the small skillet that you’ve been heating. Add the beaten eggs and scramble until just firm.
Add the cooked eggs, cubed chicken, scallions, and sesame oil to the risotto and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed with salt, soy sauce, and pepper (if desired). The risotto should be nice and creamy. If it is too thick, add a little more water. If it’s too soupy, allow it to cook another minute or so before serving. Serve piping hot topped with some of the crispy bacon you fried earlier.
For an accompanying story, check out Cooking Ventures at http://cookingventures.blogspot.com
Here’s an easy recipe for Mexican Rice (aka Spanish Rice). It’s cooked right in a rice cooker, which happens to be my new favorite kitchen toy. But hey, don’t worry if you don’t have a slow cooker. I’ll share my easy stove top directions too.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!