It's the weirdest thing. Every time that I make something with onions, I always think of my little sister. She hates onions! Why in the world would making something that so heavily features onions make me think of her? There are so many layers of onion flavor that even if she spent all evening picking out every single tiny piece of onion out of it, it would still taste like onions.
Maybe it's because she was living with me when I first came across this recipe. Or maybe it's because I can still remember watching her pick the onions from a Lipton Onion Soup mix from my mom's meatloaf when she was little (that is a task in itself since we all know how tiny those onions are). Maybe it's because I still like to give her a hard time for that very memory. Or maybe it's because I keep hoping that one day I'll make something oniony that she'll actually like. Dream big, right?
Like I said, I came across this recipe about a year ago on Brownie Points. Poppy Seed Sweet Onion Risotto features bacon and a whole lot of butter. It's comfort food at its finest and was perfect for me missing my baby sister, even if she wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole. I added chicken to it and used a few more slices of bacon and absolutely no butter (I wanted it to be heartier and go further without completely killing any attempts at losing weight). One final note, neither the hubby nor I liked it as much the next day after reheating it in the microwave. the poppy seed flavor was just too overpowering, so be sure to only make as much as you'll need for one sitting (unless of course you love that taste).
Poppy Seed Sweet Onion Risotto
Recipe by Brownie Points, adapted by me
3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 Tbl poppy seeds
1/2 cup white wine, plus 1 Tbl
2 slices bacon, chopped
2 Tbl butter
2 shallots, cut in thin rings
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- In a medium sized sauce pan, heat your broth to just under a simmer. Keep this nice and warm, not boiling, on a back burner.
- In a small dish measure out 2 Tbs of poppy seeds and pour in enough white wine to cover. Allow the poppy seeds to soak for the duration of your risotto making.
- In your designated risotto pan, slowly render the chopped up bacon over low heat until the bits are nice and crisped. Scoop out the bacon bits and drain on a paper bag or paper towel.
- Add to the bacon drippings one Tbs of butter and the shallots and fry until the rings are crispy golden. Remove rings setting aside to drain.
- Add to risotto pan and sweat the diced onion and salt. When your onion is translucent, add to the risotto pan the rice bringing heat up to med, stirring your rice almost constantly, for approximately 1-2minutes, not allowing the rice to color.
- Now, proceed to make your risotto in the traditional style: add to your sautéed rice a good splash of white wine, and scrape up the nice cooked on bits from the bacon and shallot frying, add one ladle of your warm, backburnered broth, at a time, stirring almost constantly. When the broth has been absorbed by the rice mixture, add another ladle of broth continue ladling and stirring until the rice is just cooked all the way through, approximately 20-25 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and stir into your risotto the wine soaked poppy seeds and their bathwater, the grate parmesan cheese, and the crispy bacon bits. Top each dished portion with the crispy shallot rings and enjoy.