Bacon Mushroom Smoked Cheddar Risotto
Adapted from Cookie & Kate
Yesterday morning I went swimming–it’s my new workout thing (alongside yoga–my other workout fave). As I was swimming, I let my mind drift off and wander about and was happy to find myself ruminating on what I should make for lunch. I thought about all the cheese in my fridge that I’ve been neglecting since I’ve been on this health kick. And I thought of the beloved (and healthy!) mushrooms that I’ve heartily welcomed into my daily routine. I thought about risotto and how wonderfully creamy it is and then this vision started forming in my head of a creamy risotto with mushrooms, smoked cheddar, a little bacon and spinach. Oh yes, this needed to happen. But I wanted to make it with brown rice. (Because, yeah, health kick.)
So I went snooping about the internet and I ran across this recipe from Cookie & Kate for easy brown rice risotto. I ogled over the beautiful photos and marveled at how she managed to make brown rice risotto look so good. As I read through the recipe, I wondered at the simplicity of it. Could it really be that easy to make brown rice risotto without all the crazy stirring? I decided to give it a whirl (with my own spin on it, of course) and could not believe it! It was just as creamy good as the risotto I’ve made in the past, but with only a few minutes of stirring. Not quick, mind you, because brown rice does take time to cook, but easy, yes, because the rice is baked in the oven and then finished, risotto style, by adding a little wine and water and a bit of stirring.
It’s creamy, decadent perfection … with a healthy twist. The bacon flavor is baked in, so you do really taste the smoky bacon goodness, even though there’s only a bit of bacon in this righteous risotto. I tucked in a bit of fresh rosemary and basil to take the taste over the top. Oh man. It’s heaven in a bowl!
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 3/4 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
- 3/4 cup brown rice
- 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 slices lean bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled/chopped.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, peeled & chopped
- 8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup water
- a bit of fresh rosemary, chopped fine
- 2 oz. smoked cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 cups fresh chopped spinach
- A few fresh basil leaves, chopped fine
- Preheat the oven to 375 F. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or oven-safe saute pan, then add the onion and garlic and saute until the onion is tender and translucent. Add the rice and continue to saute until the rice smells fragrant. Stir in the broth, water, and bacon, then cover and bake in the oven for an hour.
- About 20 minutes before the hour is up, cook the mushrooms by heating the olive oil in a frying pan, then add the garlic and saute for a few minutes until good and fragrant. Stir in the mushrooms. Cover and cook for several minutes, opening to stir frequently, until the mushrooms are tender and juicy.
- When the rice is done in the oven, pull the pan out of the oven, stir up the rice to loosen any stuck to the pan. Then, over medium heat, stir in the mushrooms, rosemary, wine and water, 1/4 cup at a time, for 5 minutes or so, until the liquid is reduced and the risotto is nice and creamy.
- Stir in the cheese until melted, then the spinach and basil. Stir in salt & freshly ground pepper to taste, if needed. Serve warm with extra cheese and/or bacon on top.
To make this recipe totally gluten free, use rice that is certified gluten free.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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