I'm not sure which of these categories risotto falls into (I've never even tasted it before today) but I'm guessing that the $10 price tag for a 36 ounce jar of Arborio rice was part of the "hold up". I know I will be on a search for a more reasonable source, in the near future, for this specialty rice since we liked it so much.
This recipe came from allrecipes.com and it is absolutely delicious. I am really looking forward to reheating it for tomorrows lunch!!
5 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced (see note)
1½ cups Arborio rice (do not use regular rice)
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (not the powdered kind)
salt and pepper to taste
Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a sauce pan, over high heat; reduce the heat to low and keep the chicken stock hot.
Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook and stir until the onion begins to turn golden brown at the edges, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and stir until it is coated in butter and has started to toast, about 2 or 3 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium and stir in one third of the hot chicken stock; continue stirring until the rice has absorbed the liquid and turned creamy.
Repeat this process two more times, stirring constantly, which should take about 15-20 minutes total time. The rice should be tender but slightly firm when fully cooked.
Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, the cheese and the crisp bacon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
NOTE: As a first time risotto maker, I was nervous about making rice without using a lid on the pan, but it works great...just don't rush it.
NOTE: I wanted the bacon flavor to cook into the rice, so I put about half of the crisp bacon into the rice as it cooked, then mixed in the other half of the crisp bacon before serving. I will definitely do that again because it gave the rice a wonderful flavor.
NOTE: The recipe calls for four cloves of garlic, but that seems like a LOT. I didn't use any garlic because picky-picky is allergic to it.
These photos do not do this tasty side dish justice.