Recently I discovered a new favorite ingredient….are you ready? I’ll give you a clue:
|Photo via IMDB|
Yup in addition to free healthcare and mounted police, Canada also has the most delicious bacon….really, what’s not to love about our neighbors to the north?
But seriously, there’s a lot to love about Canadian bacon. If you haven’t had it before, Canadian bacon is actually much more like ham than bacon. That means it’s leaner than traditional bacon and comes in at just 2.4 grams of fat/ounce versus 11.9 grams of fat/ounce for regular pork bacon. Wow!
|Photo via Fresh Direct|
Another huge bonus is that our grocery store sells it from the deli counter, so I love that I can save money by purchasing a small 0.25 lb package instead of a full 12 oz. package. Because let’s face it, unless we’re having retro ‘50s week around here, there’s just no way that two people can eat a full package of bacon.
So in an effort to cram my new favorite into a recipe, I decided to use it as a base for my usual mushroom risotto. The result was woodsy, manly and completely delicious. Mr. Officer was super excited about this recipe, so I expect it will go into our regular rotation. As an added bonus, we’re now completely prepared with a delicious peace offering in the event that the President decides to take a cue from a John Candy movie and start a Cold War with Canada……
|KT & Mr. Officer enjoying the Disney version of Canada|
Bacon, Mushroom & Pea Risotto
|Please excuse my fuzzy picture and alien peas|
¼ lb Canadian Bacon, chopped
1 package sliced cremini mushrooms
1 shallot, chopped
1 c. Arborio rice
2 14.5 oz. cans Reduced Fat & Low Sodium Chicken Broth
¼ c. bourbon or whiskey
½ c. frozen peas
½ c. shredded parmesan cheese
2 tbsp olive oil (optional)
- Heat the chicken broth in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Meanwhile, sauté the bacon over high heat in a Dutch oven for about 2-3 minutes to render the fat. If your bacon is very lean, you may need to add a bit of olive oil in order to keep the ingredients from burning.
- Add the mushrooms and shallot to the bacon pan and sauté in the bacon fat/olive oil until the vegetables start to soften (about 3 – 5 minutes).
- Add the rice to the Dutch oven and sauté for approximately 1 minute to toast the rice. Turn off the heat and carefully add the bourbon or whiskey, stirring to deglaze the pan.
- With the Dutch oven on medium heat, begin ladling the chicken stock into the rice pan ½ c at a time and stir until the broth is absorbed by the rice. Continue adding chicken stock and stirring the rice until all of the stock has been added.
- Turn the heat to low and add the peas and cheese. Stir and heat until the peas are warmed through and the cheese is melted.