Risotto with bacon and rosemary

bacon and rosemary risotto

My fresh rosemary, is, still alive and kicking, waiting to perform in the kitchen.
After more then 2 weeks in my presence. I am somewhat surprised. What did I do right? Normally my herbs starts their not necessarily slow, but certainly sure death on the way home from the supermarket. Seriously. And by the time they make it pass the threshold, there’s no way back. They are in the arms of a serial-herb-killer… MuHAhaha…….No, seriously.

So, what to do, what to do with it. I just bought it for its lovely apperance. It was so large, so perky and appealing, I simply could not resist. (I have a thing for big food)
Considering my poor gardening skills, I made rosemary shortbread once I bought it. They are really yummy. (Hmm, I think I still have some. That’ll be a nice accompaniment along with a cup of tea for Ugly Betty later on…… ) So, what rosemary-dish comes next? For me, that’s always one thing: Risotto with bacon and of course, rosemary. I love a good risotto, and this one is probably my all time favourite. Bacon and rosemary together! What a match! I think it’s a Jamie Oliver recipe originally, but I’ve made it so many times, I don’t use a recipe anymore. Besides, I make small adjustments based on what ingredients I have. The important thing here is that there’s bacon, arborio and of course, rosemary (after all, that’s what started this)

So, here’s what you do:
Open your fridge and get: Bacon, onion, garlic.
Heat up some chicken or vegetable stock.
Slice the bacon, and fry it till it turns quite golden. Remove from the pan.
Fry the chopped onion and garlic, and when it turns lightly brown, soft and sweet, add the rice.
Stir it until you see the rice becoming slightly transparent. (and this is where one should add white wine, but I didn’t have white wine, so – no wine! The recipe also calls for borlotti beans, at some point, but I didn’t have that either. But be sure to add beans if you have some, it’s really good. I replaced it with leek this time.)

Turn down the heat. And then, you can start adding the boiling stock. Little by little. Spoon by spoon. Patience is a virtue. It will be worth it in the end.
From here on it goes like this: Add stock, stir, add stock, stir, add stock stir….. Get it?
Well, not forever! Just until the rice is soft, yet a little al dente. Chewy. It’ll take about 15-20 minutes….
And when you reach this stage, re-add the bacon, a generous – and I do mean generous – knob of butter and grated parmesan. Now, stir! Or whip this into the risotto to make that creamy, cheesy risotto-texture. And when you reach that stage, you know what comes next… Eating it! Grate some parmesan and freshly grated pepper over it, and enjoy. It should be eaten rightaway, so if you set the table before starting to make the risotto, even better. And, that’s it!

No, wait! That’s not it! I forgot the rosemary… (and it’s not the first time) chop a handful of leaves,  and toss them into the risotto. And eventually use it as a garnish, to finish it off. Looks quite pretty. And now, you’re done.

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Cinnabon-clones! I made it!

kopi

Ever since I stumbled upon a Cinnabon-shop at the airport in Las Vegas, I’ve been thinking of how to recreate these delicious buns at home. Iwas on my way to NY, and in lack of a healthier choice, I picked up a cinnamon-roll to have for breakfast on the plane. Little did I know, that this breakfast my friends, would go down in history. Oh, yeah, that’s how good it was! I did not see that coming at all. Normally, I’m not a cinnamon roll-lover, but these beauties takes things to a whole other level. I had to restrain myself not to lick the paper it was wrapped in. But I felt I had to behave on the plane.  Anyway, If you’re a Cinnabon-connoisseur, you know what I’m talking about. .  So moist, so full of taste, warm and sticky.  But in Norway, they don’t exist. So, as soon as I got home I started some research, and now, after making these buns, I can find peace. I have the recipe.  

First I had to identify the frosting. Easy. Same cheesefrosting as used on carrotcakes. Secondly,  I had to find a nice dough that would give that lovely sticky feeling, and at last I had to recreate the cinnamon filling. And then, of course, put it all toghether in hopefully tasty Cinnabon cinnamon bun taste-alikes! But when I found this recipe it all became very easy.

Clone of a Cinnabon

I used another dough, though. I have an idiotproof recipe which always turns out well, so I trusted this once again.

Dough
100 gram fresh yeast (or dry if you prefer)
1 kg flour 200 gram sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cardamom
200 gram butter
6 dl milk
(Makes 20-25)

Filling
405 g brown sugar, packed
30 g ground cinnamon
140 g butter, softened

Frosting
155 g cream cheese, softened
105 g butter, softened
345 g confectioners’ sugar
5 ml vanilla extract 1 g salt

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Make as any ordinary dough. Mix fresh yeast with melted butter and milk , or dry yeast with flour. Knead until you have an elastic yet firm dough. Set to rise for about an hour, or until it reaches double size. So that’s exactly what I did. No surprises yet. While it was rising I started making the filling. And this is where it get’s slightly more interesting. Instead of ordinary white sugar, the recipe calls for dark brown sugar. Promising. Tasty and dark, I like it… I decided to mix the butter with the sugar-cinnamon mixture, just to make things a little easier. So when the dough had reached a nice volume, I knocked it down, rolled and stretched out it as far as I could. (Or at least within the space of the table). Quite thin, that’s my point. And then I spread the heavenly cinnamon-sugar-butter mixture on , and rolled it up tightly. Using a sharp knife, I managed to cut out the buns quite nicely. The recipe actually suggests dental floss (!) but I stick to my knife. I had to cut the dough in half before I began, so each part made about 10 buns. Set to rise for about 30 minutes. And then, bake at 225 degrees Celsius for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden. You don’t want to overbake them, so stay close keeping an eye on them. When they’re done, spread with cream cheese frosting, and serve while hot! That’s what it’s all about. The warmth, and the melting frosting together with that sticky cinnamon-filling. Make these, and you are in for a treat.

I got myself a blog!

Well, I finally got around to get my own blog after a long time as a visitor on other (food)blogs. I’m a 26 year old girl from Norway whose life evolves a lot around food. I was planning to be a confectioner, but now I’m on my way to becoming a nutritionist. One thing is for sure: I love to cook, I love to eat and of course, I love cakes, so that’s what this blog’s about! Another excuse to bake something is always welcome… So, in a not too distant future I’ll be back with some of that good stuff, and my first real post! Please post comments in the comments section and forward the site on to your friends. Happy Reading!