As many of you know, I’ve moved. I now live in a house with a tiny kitchen that is more fixer-than upper. I spent the whole day working on the yard and
wanted needed some serious comfort food. I’ll warn you, the kids did not approve, the blue cheese was too much for them, but it was exactly what I needed, wanted and craved.
Recently, I finally found medium-grain rice at the store that doesn’t have the ridiculous markup of Arborio. Medium and short-grain rice has the starch necessary to create the creamy consistency of risotto. (Around here it has mostly been long grain, parboiled, and occasionally Basmati as the rice options) Save the extra pocket change unless you’re cooking for serious snobs (why would you do that, I ask)
I’d been searching for a recipe to riff on when I found How Sweet Eats’ Roasted Sweet Potato and Bacon Risotto. Close, but I really wanted the unique flavor of blue cheese with the sweet potato, this was a good start and it gave me the idea for the following.
Sweet Potato and Bacon Risotto with Blue Cheese
- 4 cups chicken or turkey stock
- 1 lg sweet potato peeled and diced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large, yellow onions, diced small
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice -medium grain rice will do
- 2/3 cup dry, white wine (cooking wine will do in a pinch)
- 1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles (you can absolutely substitute Parmesan)
- 4-6 slices bacon cooked and chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste -skip the salt if you use commercial stock like Better than Bouillon
- Small handful of fresh parsley, chopped -optional – I didn’t have any.
This is a two pot recipe, use one to heat the stock and cook the potatoes. By the time the rice is ready to begin adding the stock, your sweet potatoes should be just tender enough to mash with a fork.
Melt the butter over medium heat in a large skillet or a stock pot with a HEAVY bottom – using a pot with a thin bottom is asking to scorch the risotto you’re going to a lot of trouble for. Proceed at your own risk.
Add the onions to the skillet, cook until they just start to become translucent, then add the rice.
Stir frequently to toast the rice for a few minutes (3ish). Add the wine to the pot a little drizzle at a time and continue cooking (stirring frequently) until the liquid is absorbed.
Add 1 cup of the hot stock, stir continuously until the liquid is absorbed (see, I told you this dish was needy).
Add the garlic, and another cup of stock. Cook and stir until absorbed.
Guess what, add another cup of stock, cook and stir until absorbed.
Use a fork to mash the sweet potatoes cooking in the stock. (Unless you have an immersion blender, in that case go that route). Slowly transfer the sweet potato stock mixture into the rice and stir until incorporated.
Continue in this manner until your rice is just tender and creamy.
Stir in the bacon taste, adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Top with blue cheese and serve.