Poached Egg on Risotto with Spinach and Bacon

The goal was to have something more than frozen pizza, or reheated spaghetti and meatballs, using only stuff on hand.  Using up the spinache before it went bad was a nice benefit.  I bought a lot of vegatables at the beginning of the week and haven’t been using them as quickly as planned.  Now, I still need to use up the beans (uncooked, from the pack bought for the maple salmon) in the near future.

Once again, I cooked after dark.  This time it was indoors, but natural sun light would have helped the pictures I think.  I ended up not using any but one final.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup parmesan broth
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cups Arborio Rice
  • wilted spinach
  • crumbled bacon
  • 4 eggs
  • water
  • vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan

Note on order:

Both poached eggs and risotto are best served immediately.  I feel
that is slightly more important for the eggs, so I start the risotto
first, then do the eggs about 10 minutes into the stirring in the
liquid stage of the risotto.  Finished eggs are store in a covered
bowl in the microwave to preserve their warth.  Since the risotto
should finish first, I leave it covered off the burner to keep it warn.

The parmesan broth:

Boil 1 cup water.  Add parmesan rind and a few pepper corns, simmer
for a few minutes.  Strain.

To wilt the spinach, I use a minimal amount of olive oil in a pan,
then add the spinach and toss some salt and pepper on top.

Risotto:

Contrary to popular reports, you don’t have to stir constantly.  You
do need to stir alot though, and you also need to watch constantly.

Mix liquids together and warm them.

In a heavy sauce pan, melt butter.  Add the rice, add stir with spoon
until grains are coated.  At this point you will start adding liquid
to the rice a few tablespoons at a time.  After each addition, keep
stirring the rice until the liquid is completely absorbed.  Expect
this process to take about 18 minutes.  Stop when rice is al-dente.  I
like the risotto to be soft enough that they don’t resist biting, but
not so soft that you can’t feel the grains in your mouth.

Salt and pepper to taste.

When the risotto is complete, stir in the spinach and bacon.

Poached Egg (If you know how, skip this):

First, you need a pan that will allow you to have 5 inches of water
while staying at least 1.5 inches from the top of the pan.  Fill the
pan so that you have 5 inches of water.  Add a tablespoon of white
vinegar.  Bring the water to a simmer (200 degrees).

Spin the water with a ladle handle.  Drop an egg in the center.  Leave
it for 3-4 minutes.  It will look messy until you remove the egg.  You
might consider watching a few tutorial videos on youtube.  That’s what
I had to do.  No amount of reading explanations made me realize that I
just needed to wait long enough before removing the egg, then trust
that it would look OK when served.

Also, be prepared to waste a few eggs practicing.  They aren’t that
expensive.

Serve:

Put risotto in individual bowls, then place eggs on top and sprinkle
with a dash of salt, parmesan, and ground pepper.