I didn’t always like risotto. In fact in my younger years I hated it because I was used to rice. Having been born in Colombia my mum cooked several Colombian dishes, especially rice, and I liked the way rice wasn’t thick, but rather dry and fluffy, not clumping together. And I happen to really like the flavour of rice and its texture for the reasons opposite of risotto, which is creamy and thick.
I avoided risotto for years and ironically it wasn’t until I was living in Belize and wanting a bit of variety in my diet I embraced risotto. I was at a restaurant in Placencia where we used to live, Rum Fish, who made risotto. I really liked it and decided I should start making it.
Most of you are familiar with mushroom or white wine risotto but I wasn’t a huge fan of mushrooms (which I have since grown in much appreciation for) Good white wine that was affordable was hard to come by.
So I did a bit of research and discovered a recipe for bacon risotto. I have no idea where I found it but I really liked it and so did my younger son who also isn’t fond of mushrooms….yet.
I do vary the recipe every now and then and combine it with other proteins. But I think this is my favourite combination.
I really like garlic shrimp but in small doses and I don’t want it to conflict with the risotto but rather compliment it. So I cook only 5 or 6 pieces of shrimp per person.
Garlic Shrimp with Bacon Risotto
- 10 Slices bacon Cut into bite size pieces
- 4 Garlic cloves, minced Opt for locally grown garlic
- 1 1/3 Cup Arborio rice
- 1/2 Cup Dry white wine
- 5 Cups Chicken broth Opt for low-sodium
- 1/4 Cup Paremeggiano Reggiano cheese
- 2 tbsp Unsalted butter
- 20 Large shrimp, deveined and shell removed
- Fresh chives, chopped in small pieces Optional
- In a medium size pot heat chicken broth on low.
- Clean shrimp by removing shell and deveining. In a bowl combine 1 tbsp minced garlic, aprox 2 cloves, shrimp and 2 tbsp of olive oil.
- In a separate pot cook up bacon bits on medium heat. Once cooked removed from pot to a plate with paper towel to absorb oil.
- In the same pot cook 2 cloves of garlic on low, till it's just cooked. About 3 minutes. Add arborio rice and cook another 2 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Add wine and stir well. Let rice absorb wine and then add broth 1/2 cup at a time. Stir regularly. As rice absorbs broth continue to add more 1/2 cup at a time until all broth is used, stirring regularly.
- Once all broth has been added to risotto cook 2 minutes then add 2 tbsp of butter and stir till incorporated. Add parm cheese till incorporated. Then add bacon, stir well.
- Cook garlic in large frying pan on medium to high heat. Shrimp are done when pink on both sides. About 2-4 minutes. Take care not to overcook shrimp.
- Transfer risotto to large serving bowl and top with garlic shrimp, grated parm cheese and chives. Serve immediately.