I’m trying not to mope… I understand that we reeeaally need all the rain we can get. Oregon entered spring in pretty dire drought conditions, conditions that will effect our salmon runs and beer prices for the worse. I understand the benefits of this weather we are currently having. However, the lack of winter rain has left me out of practice as a rain trooper. My good rain shoes gave me blisters today, and I just broke my umbrella (yes, yes, I know… real Oregonians don’t use umbrellas…). With that said, perhaps you will understand more my turn to comfort food for the beginning of this week.
Humble Bagel makes a mean little hard roll called a New Yorker. Stuffed with golden threads of onion, poppy seeds and salty goey swiss cheese, I crave it, and they don’t make it at very convenient times of the week (uh, like never…) for me to get my fix. So I’ve done the next best thing and turned its flavors into a risotto to warm me up on this rainy week.
Poppy Seed Sweet Onion Risotto
In a medium sized sauce pan, heat approximately 3 cups of vegetable or chicken broth to just under a simmer. Keep this nice and warm, not boiling, on a back burner. I like to add to my broth the left over onion and shallot ends from my prep to add another layer of onion flavor to the risotto.
In a small dish measure out 2 Tbs of poppy seeds and pour in enough white wine to cover. Allow the poppy seeds to soak for the duration of your risotto making.
In your designated risotto pan, slowly render:
- two slices worth of chopped up bacon
over low heat until the bits are nice and crisped. Scoop out the bacon bits and drain on a paper bag or paper towel.
Add to the bacon drippings:
- one Tbs of butter
- two shallots cut in thin rings
fry until the rings are crispy golden. Remove rings setting aside to drain.
Add to risotto pan and sweat:
- 3/4 of a small onion, diced
- 1 tsp salt
When your onion is translucent, add to the risotto pan:
- 1 1/2 cups of arborio rice
- 1 Tbs butter (hey, I said this was comfort food)
bringing heat up to med, stiring your rice almost constantly, for approximately 1-2minutes, not allowing the rice to color.
Now, proceed to make your risotto in the traditional style:
- add to your sauted rice a good splash of white wine, and scrape up the nice cooked on bits from the bacon and shallot frying
- add one ladle of your warm, backburnered broth, at a time, stirring almost constantly
- when the broth has been absorbed by the rice mixture, add another ladle of broth continue ladling and stiring until the rice is just cooked all the way through, approximately 20-25 minutes
Turn off the heat and stir into your risotto:
- the wine soaked poppy seeds and their bathwater
- a good 15 second or more grating of cheese, preferences are: swiss , gruyere or parmesan cheese
- about 1 Tbs of lemon juice
- and all that remains of the crispy bacon bits reserved from the beginning of the recipe
Top each dished portion with the crispy shallot rings and enjoy.