I love Risotto. It is a dish that can stand alone, or be served as a side. Unfortunately, risotto has a bad rep as being this difficult dish to make. Something you have to stand over the stove for, constantly stirring, and hoping for moderate success. Well, let me dispel that myth for you. It does require some attention, in the form of a simmering pot of liquid kept on a burner nearby, but that's about it. Once you have the method down, you can make all kinds of risotto's. The inspiration for this risotto came from wanting to create an elegant take on a BLT. I served this with Bacon-wrapped Scallops, the "B" of the dish. You will see the "L" and the "T" in the risotto:
Directions: Put the chicken broth in a medium sauce pan and place on a burner that will be near the risotto. Place a medium skillet on medium heat and warm up. Put the olive oil and butter in the pan and begin to saute the shallot. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the rice and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add the wine and stir until fully absorbed. Now, in 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup increments, begin adding the chicken stock. The key to good risotto is the right temperature of the burner. Too high, and the liquid will evaporate before it is absorbed; too low, and it will take 3 times longer than it should. What you want is a light rolling boil, meaning small bubbles throughout the dish. Stir every so often. Don't leave the risotto to go watch a movie, but certainly do other things in the kitchen, like chop vegetables for another dish you might be cooking, or in this case, make bacon-wrapped scallops. Once you notice the liquid is absorbed, add some more. The risotto will take about 25 minutes. You may not use all the broth, in fact, I would be surprised if you did. That's ok. Your risotto should be creamy and slightly al dente (a little bite). Add the tomatoes and arugula and stir until arugula is wilted. Add the cheese and a pinch of pepper. Taste and season with salt if need be. Now go forth and cook some risotto.