It is hard to be on a treadmill day after day, not feeling like you are actually getting anywhere. There is so much going on at work these days, I take one step forward, and two steps back. I told my team a little secret yesterday…sometimes I go home and make myself a list of things to do – just so I can check things off and feel like I have accomplished something. Yep, I have a problem.
Fortunately I finally figured out my blog problem. I have to say, I love WordPress, I have had very little issues with them. Super easy to use, very easy to get help – but this one really baffled me. For some reason when I looked at my post, I was looking at the code – not what it looks like on the other side. Well, once I actually was coherent and spent a few minutes thinking about it – I realized there were two tabs on the upper right hand side – “Visual” and “Text”. It somehow switched to “Text” and when I switched it to “Visual” the code disappeared. The menu bars were still not the same, and either was the picture, but I figured out I had to click the “Toolbar Toggle” – and then edit the picture and make it bigger. Whew. I felt a whole lot better afterwards – like I really had accomplished a lot. I love that feeling.
So I have mentioned the market basket that we started getting on Thursdays – it seriously is one of the highlights of my week. Not only am I amazed at what they stick in there week after week, it gives me another opportunity to feel like I am accomplishing something. If I can use up everything in that basket every week – that is quite a feat. I am finding myself thinking creatively about cooking again, and I love it. The leeks have been beautiful lately – nice and big, and bursting with flavor. I found this recipe in Cooking Light and decided that it was a risotto night – I needed to use up the leeks, and the sweet and smoky bacon that they had put in the basket – from my absolute favorite farm. Maybe it was the ingredients that I used, but this risotto was over the top delicious. For a weeknight dinner, it certainly felt special. Like I had finally gotten off the treadmill and actually ran a mile. For once, it felt good to run back…
- 5 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
- 2 cups water
- 4 bacon slices
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cups thinly sliced leek (about 4 large)
- 1/2 cup sliced shallots
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups uncooked Arborio rice
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Bring stock and 2 cups water to a simmer in a medium saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.
Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add leek, shallots, thyme, and garlic to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Stir in rice; cook 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup stock mixture; cook 5 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Reserve 1/3 cup stock mixture. Add remaining stock mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly until liquid is absorbed before adding more (about 25 minutes total). Stir in lemon juice, butter, pepper, salt, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Remove pan from heat. Stir in reserved 1/3 cup stock mixture. Sprinkle with reserved bacon and chopped parsley. Serve immediately.
For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Bacon and Leek Risotto