Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bacon and beans risotto ... in the Thermomix

We've had an odd week this week. The Boy was supposed to be out quite a few nights on business dinners so I hadn't really planned to do much (if any) cooking at all. Tonight we're home together (again! Yay!) and I had nothing planned for dinner. I have a few serves of leftover Honey Soy Chicken though this time I did it with Hokkien noodles but the boy wanted to save those to take to work the next few days, so I suggested trying a new risotto dish that I've been meaning to make. Fortunately, The Boy was home early enough to take the bacon out of the freezer for me so that it would be defrosted by the time I was to cook.

As I stood preparing the ingredients and moving around my now minuscule kitchen, I had the odd thought that (hooray!) I am finally getting accustomed to this very teeny, tiny kitchen, where the two of us can't even be in the kitchen at the same time or we are bumping into each other or the cupboards. Still, it was a good moment and I felt glad for it that I felt settled or that I was at least settling into the kitchen, which takes us one step closer to feeling more like The New Apartment is home.

So, this new risotto dish ... again, you can make it using the basic risotto recipe but of course, I made it in the Thermomix. I have to say, the Thermomix is a working person's gift. So simple to use and such a time saver.

Here's the RECIPE for it:

  • 3 bacon rashers, or 6 shortcut pieces, roughly cut into largeish pieces
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and halved
  • 15g olive oil
  • 380g arborio rice
  • 100g red wine
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 900g water
  • 1 tin borlotti beans, drained
  • chopped parsley, to serve
  • 40g cream, optional

  • heat the thermomix 2 minutes varoma speed 1
  • add bacon, chop for 10 seconds on speed 5-6
  • saute for 3 minutes varoma speed 1
  • add onion on speed 5 for a few seconds
  • add olive oil
  • saute for 2 mins 100C speed 1
  • pop in the butterfly
  • add arborio rice and wine
  • saute for 2mins 100c reverse speed 1
  • add in stock concentrate (or 2 stock cubes), tomatoes and water
  • cook for 11 mins 100c reverse speed 1
  • add borlotti beans and cream and cook a further 5 mins 100c reverse speed 1
  • Pour into thermoserver, mix to stir parsley through and leave to stand for 5 mins or so until more of the liquid is absorbed. serve with Parmesan if desired, season to taste

Again, because I can't help myself, I'm doing some things differently, but not drastically so.

I didn't chop the bacon in the Thermomix right in the beginning, rather, I cut them into large strips and put them in to cook on the varoma speed. The reason I didn't do this was because the next step was to chop the onion in the Thermomix and I didn't want mushy bacon. I actually wanted bacon bits for texture. After that, I cut up the onion according to the instructions (about 4 seconds) and that made both the bacon and the onion the perfect consistency and the right size for me.

Instead of 380g of rice, I only used 300g of rice. I remember reading somewhere that if you use a little less rice, your risotto ends up being a little juicier / creamier (with a bit more sauce) and I like it that way.

For stock instead of stock cubes, I used 3 heaped teaspoons of chicken stock, mixed into the 900g of (boiling) water.

After I added the beans, instead of cooking it for 5 minutes, I cooked it for 6 minutes just to give it a little more time for the sauce to thicken.

I also didn't use any cream because I'm lactose intolerant and while I can stand a little bit of cream, I rather not risk it.

Finally, instead of just adding Parmesan cheese at the end, I mixed a generous amount into the risotto and then I let it stand.

Of course, by the end, I just got lazy and left out the parsley. :-)

Oh, and I almost never use the Thermoserver. I just use my standard Corningware dish, which works beautifully. I'd only use the Thermoserver if I wanted to keep it warm for a couple of hours and I don't need to do that.

This turned out to be a very, very tasty risotto. It was rich, luscious and oh so delicious. I think I might have eaten too much because I had seconds. There's plenty for leftovers too, so I'm looking forward to that.

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