Monday, November 22, 2010

Bacon, green onion, and barley risotto

Add another dinner to the we-forgot-photos category. Last night's single-pot dinner was one of my favorite risotti. Begin by mincing about a third of a pound of bacon, and saute it in the bottom of a small or medium pot until crisp. Then set aside the meat, but save the fat in the pan. Add and saute the whites from a bunch of scallions with a little salt, and as they start to tenderize, add one cup pearled barley. Coat the barley in the hot fat (add more fat — butter or olive oil — if necessary).

Meanwhile, you should have been warming up two cups of broth. Add ½ cup white wine to the hot barley; it should sizzle immediately, but stir it in. Then add the two cups of broth. If it is already hot, it should boil pretty quickly. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer twenty minutes, checking and stirring once or twice. Then remove the cover, and you might want to cook the barley another ten minutes or so if there's still too much liquid.

Then add the bacon back to the barley, along with with green parts of the scallions, minced. Stir in, a handful at a time, plenty of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, tasting as you go. Serve with the same white wine you used for cooking.

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