No matter what I do in life, it seems it’s always better when bacon is involved. There is just something about the sweet, salty, meaty combination that makes us all fall in love with it.
I’m not even sure when and where I saw this recipe. It might have been a posting from a local restaurant or a picture in a magazine, but when I saw bacon and risotto in the same sentence, I knew I wanted to make it On that same note I remember thinking how much my husband liked scallops and how much I like risotto, so as in life….a perfect pairing!
I’ve always made what I think is a pretty good risotto, but I’ve always used parmesan. This recipe just shows you that it’s okay to think outside of the box. Of course, the nice thing about risotto is you can add pretty much whatever you really like and it will come out good. That is the beauty of this dish.
When you see a picture or have an idea that inspires you….give it a try. Nothing lost, nothing gained as my grandmother would always say. You might actually find you’ve created something worth talking about!
Seared Scallops with Blue Cheese and Bacon Risotto
- Blue Cheese and Bacon Risotto
- 1 quart low sodium chicken broth
- 6 slices bacon, diced
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1/2 or small onion, diced (approximately 1/2 cup)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup aborio rice
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 4 ounces blue cheese
- white pepper and salt to taste
- 10 Sea scallops
- 1 Tablespoon canola oil
Herb butter (optional)
- 2 Tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon chevere, chopped
- 1/4 cup white wine
Warm chicken broth, do not boil. In a large saucepan over medium heat cook bacon until crisp. Remove from pan to drain and set aside. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease.
Add onion to bacon grease and cook until tender. Add garlic and rice and cook for 2 minutes. Add wine and stir to scrape up the bottom and until wine is absorbed.
Add one cup chicken broth and gently stir until broth is absorbed. (if it is absorbing too fast lower the heat) Repeat, adding one cup at a time, until it is creamy and tender but still has just a hint of resistance when you bite into it – about 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and add reserved bacon and the blue cheese and stir until cheese has melted. Season with white pepper and salt if needed. Allow risotto to rest approximately 10 minutes before serving, as it will thicken as it cools.
For scallops: heat canola oil in a non stick skillet until almost smoking. Dry scallops in paper towels and add to hot oil, 2 to 3 minutes each side. Do a small amount at a time, as they will steam if too crowded. They will be nicely browned. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Remove scallops from pan and set aside. Add 1/2 of the butter to the pan with the minced onion and sauté. Add parsley and chevre (you can also use tarragon, thyme, lemon basil) and wine and deglaze pan. Add remainder of butter.
Add scallops back to butter mixture and gently heat.
To serve, top risotto with scallops and herb butter if desired.