Friday, August 9, 2013

Recipe: Asparagus and scallop risotto with poached egg and bacon bits

So, I take a peek into my fridge and I see scallops, baby asparagus, and streaky bacon. Perfect for making risotto, I thought! 

We (especially my mum and I) love eating risotto, but anybody who has made risotto in their kitchen will know it requires quite a bit of muscle work - first you gotta make the chicken/vegetable stock, and then constant stirring during the risotto cooking process to slowly massage the starch out of the grains. But the work is always worth it in the end when you are rewarded with a gorgeous plate of rich, creamy risotto. Such a treat to the palate!

Asparagus and scallop risotto with poached egg and bacon bits

After cooking and eating this, I have to say this risotto's ingredient combination is fantastic. Not only does it look so attractive and colorful, there are different textures and flavours going on. The poached egg on top adds an extra level of creaminess to the risotto- so so good! Both the kids also enjoyed this and gave it a big thumbs up!

Other than the risotto, everything else requires little cooking time. You can cook the bacon first and set it aside and just before the risotto is ready, you can quickly sear the scallops and asparagus tips. Quickly cook your poached eggs at the same time in a separate pot, as the risotto needs to be served immediately after it's ready or else it will continue to cook in its own heat and can become dry.

A poached egg on top makes it extra creamy!

Baby D loves the addition of the egg

A big thumbs up for mummy's risotto dish

Bursting with colours, texture and flavours

Asparagus and scallop risotto with poached egg and bacon bits
Recipe by Baby Sumo
Preparation time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking time: 40 - 45 minutes (not including chicken stock)
Serves 4

3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
250g arborio rice
4 - 4 1/2 cup chicken stock (see Step 1)
150g scallops, washed and patted dry
200g baby asparagus, cut tips into 3cm length and remainder into 1.5cm lengths
40g freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 rashers streaky bacon, sliced
4 fresh eggs

1. Skim any oil from the chicken stock. Simmer on very low heat while you cook your risotto.

2. In a large non-stick pan or wok, heat 1 tablespoon of butter and the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook until softened, about 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Increase heat to high, then add the rice. Using a wooden spoon, stir the rice with the onion, making sure that the grains are coated with the olive oil/butter until slightly translucent and the rice starts to crackle, for about 2 minutes. This process is called tostatura. It helps the rice absorb the stock later.

4. Turn the heat down to medium, and add enough stock to cover the risotto, about 1 cup. Keep stirring the risotto constantly as stirring massages the starch molecules out of the rice, hence creating a rich, creamy texture.

5. In the meantime, in a separate frying pan, heat 1/2 tablespoon of oil over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until crispy and browned, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside in a plate.

6. Allow the stock to be absorbed before adding more stock to the rice. Keep adding small amounts of stock (1/4 cup at a time) to the rice until the rice is soft but still has a bite to it (al dente). This will take about 20-30 minutes. Taste the risotto rice occasionally to check if it's ready. If you run out of stock before your rice is ready, you can add boiling water as a substitute for the stock.

7. When the rice is almost ready (95%), lower the heat, then add the sliced asparagus (except tips) and cook for about 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper. Take the pan off the heat and add 30g Parmesan well into the rice (the mantecatura process) and 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter. Taste and adjust seasoning.

8. At the same time as adding the asparagus (Step 7), heat 1/2 tablespoon of butter over high heat in the frying pan you used to cook the bacon. Once foaming, add the scallops and quickly sear, depending on the size of your scallops this can be as quick as 30 seconds. Quickly add the asparagus tips and mix (it will cook in 10 seconds). Season with salt and pepper.

9. In a separate saucepan, bring water to the boil and once boiling, lower to low heat (barely simmering), then add some salt to the water. Break an egg into a small bowl, then lower into the water. Poach for 2-3 minutes until egg white has set. (Note: Bring water to the boil ahead of time and drop egg into the water when you are carrying out Step 7 and 8)

9. To serve, place risotto onto a plate, then top with asparagus tips and scallops. Place the poached egg in the centre, then garnish with bacon and more shaved Parmesan.

Note: Step 7, 8 and 9 should be carried out simultaneously as your risotto should be served immediately once it is ready. Here are the different methods to cook poached egg: whirlpool method, cling film method, using very fresh eggs

Another great example of the affinity between asparagus and eggs!

The traditional texture is said to be fairly fluid, or all'onda ("wavy, or flowing in waves") - think I got that right! :)

*I am submitting this to the Little Thumbs Up "Egg" event organized by Bake for Happy Kids, my little favourite DIY and hosted by me (Baby Sumo of Eat Your Heart Out). You can link your egg recipes here.

*This recipe was featured on What's cooking? at jamesandeverett FB page on 9 Aug 2013. Thanks!

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  1. Yen, very colorful indeed and I love the runny egg on top! I have eaten risotto but I am afraid that I don't like it because of the creamy texture. I prefer paella. I guess I like my rice on the dry side.

  2. Yen, this is like restaurant standard! I also want to give your a thumbs up! You love eating scallops so much! And I never see baby asparagus selling in our supermarket here!

  3. wow, i'd give TWO big thumbs up to this risotto! it looks more satisfying than 90 percent of the risotto recipes that we can get at restaurants. and ya, the combination seems terrific ... i wonder why we've never seen this exact mix of ingredients (egg, bacon, scallops, asparagus) for any risotto in KL. part of me hopes a local restaurateur sees your recipe and decides to 'borrow' it to put on his menu :D

  4. almost all my fav ingredients all in one, now if we just have a bit of pan fried foie gras on top...

  5. As I was looking at the pictures, I was just thinking that the egg yolk would add a lot of creaminess and then you said that it does. What a great idea!! The creaminess is what I really like in a risotto :)

  6. Bacon, scallops and asparagus, all my favourite ingredients!

  7. Yum yum really lovely colours, and the presentation is beautiful as well! :) And you really are an egg expert now, the eggs are so perfect every time!

  8. Yen, love your scallops risotto! I always cook vegetables butter risotto for my family but never once add in the egg, next time should try out your way.

  9. I love risotto too. And your Asparagus and scallop risotto is simply gorgeous. I love the combination of ingredients here. The poached egg on top is simply gorgeous. Nicely done!

  10. What a beautiful risotto! I would sure love to have this bowl of creamy goodness!

  11. Risotto is one of my favourite food. Great recipe! Looks good for al fresco dining.

  12. they always say, if somebody cooks risotto for you, you must be very special to that somebody~ <3

    It really takes a lot of tedious works to cook risotto,and from the picture above, I can tell , my future MIL is a patient, hardworking, and loving mother and wife !!!;P ahahha! <3

  13. Hello. I made this tonight. Fantastic!. I had by coincidence bought asparagus and scallops yesterday and had no real idea of what to make. I am so glad you preceded my by a day to share this idea. I omitted the egg since I had a hash type of dish earlier in the week. I will use the egg when I eat some of the leftovers.

    Thank you!

  14. ivy sew http://simplybeautifulhealthyliving.blogspot.comAugust 11, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    Hi Yen, a very healthy, nutritious and yummy risotto.

  15. Another yummy dish from u Yen, I have to search for Arborio rice now :)

  16. Yen , your risotto looks hearty and very appetizing ! Loads of wonderful flavor and texture in that dish ! 3 thumbs up for it ;D

  17. Hi Yen, the striking colors are tempting and the combination is for sure delicious :)


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