Apple, Bacon & Cheddar Risotto

Apple, Bacon & Cheddar Risotto
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Executive Chef Donnell Collins, Leunig’s Bistro & Café, Burlington, Vermont

1 lb. bacon, chopped
1 Spanish onion, chopped
1/4 cup garlic, chopped
1 leek, diced
1/2 bunch thyme, chopped
1 1/2 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
5 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 1/2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
10 leaves sage, chopped
2 tablespoon butter, cubed
2 Macintosh apples, small dice

In a medium rondo, render bacon till crispy.  Remove from pan and set aside.

In same rondo sweat the onions, garlic, leeks, and thyme.  Toast the Arborio on low heat.  Add wine and simmer until wine is absorbed.

Mix water, chicken stock, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and set aside.

Slowly add mixture to Arborio, one cup at a time, stirring with a spatula constantly.  Continue until all the stock is gone and the Arborio is tender.

Remove from heat and add the cheese, sage, butter, and apples.  Mix well.