Cheddar Bacon Risotto

Cheese and bacon.... such a perfect partnership. They go great with so many dishes: chicken, pasta, pizza and, in this case, risotto. You all know that I love to dig into risotto and love the different flavor combinations that are possible. We decided to grill bbq chicken (yep, we grill in the snow!) for dinner a few nights ago and I wanted to create a tasty side to serve a long side our chicken. I knew the flavors of bbq would be amazing next to cheddar and bacon. Of course, it was amazing and I loved the flavor the cheddar gave to the risotto versus the normal Parmesan cheese we use for a typical risotto recipe. I am no stranger to outside the box risotto recipes ( bone broth, eggs benedict, cheddar beer, beet and kale...ect), but I think that this is my new all time favorite outside the box risotto. Even thought it is a little different than the normal I stuck to my staples- white wine and chicken stock, but I think an amber ale would taste awesome in place of the wine.  

If you have a bacon lover that you want to impress whip up a batch of this on Saturday and they will be drooling, and you will probably get to pick the movie for the evening (bonus)! I would personally pick Jurassic Park or Aliens because I am romantic like that. Adventure sci-fi = love in my book.

Tonight, my friend Kayla and the kids are coming by for dinner. We decided that we are grilling brats. I think when the dead of winter comes my brain tries to combat it by living in denial and grilling in the snow but, either way, the brats will be delicious. This weekend we are having a low key Valentine's day and grilling (yep, again) and watching a movie (hopefully I get to pick). I will not be going to see 50 Shades of Grey. To be fair, I gave it a chance and read the books....not impressed.  Like I said, I would rather watch Jurassic Park....actually I would rather watch Predator 2 than 50 Shades.... On Sunday, we are picking up my niece for a day of fun for her birthday! I am so excited- Kellen will be thrilled to hang with his cousin. 

Oh yeah, an update on the Valentine's cookies for Kellen's party. I bought some and piped the kid's names on them They look adorable and I didn't cry trying to get my royal icing perfect. Win-win. Today is also superhero day in Kellen's class and he looks adorable... I will post a picture in my meal plan on Monday for your enjoyment. 

Have a great weekend! 


10 slices of bacon
1 shallot, chopped
1 Tbl garlic
1 cup dry white wine 
1 cup arborio rice
4 cups chicken stock
1 Tbl chopped thyme
3/4 cup sharp cheddar
1/2 tsp white pepper


Place stock in a medium saucepan. Bring  to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low-medium heat.

Cook bacon till crisp in a large rimmed skillet. Remove bacon from pan to a paper towel lined plate. Drain all great from skillet except for 1 tablespoon. 

Heat dripping over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook for 1-2 minutes or till tender. Add garlic and saute 30 seconds- 1 minute. Stir in rice, and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Increase heat to medium and add 1/2 cup wine; cook about 2 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.  Continue by adding stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of stock is absorbed before adding the next. Add thyme with the last portion of stock. While stock finished absorbing chop the bacon and stir it in the risotto, but reserve 2 tablespoons for topping. Remove risotto from heat and stir in the cheese. Season with white pepper. 

Plate and top with reserved chopped bacon. 

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