From a classic seafood dish in Spain, to a fresh Mediterranean meal and the exotic desserts in the East, Europe is as varied as a continent can be. However small compared to others, the old continent is packed with rich cultures and diverse scenarios, landscapes and also dishes for visitors and their own people to enjoy. Diversity and variety in this case are also synonyms to uniformity, since Europe is the result of tradition and creativity serving modernity and change, the old and the new blending together as one.
You’ll most certainly see a difference between food in England or France and let’s say, Albany or Turkey. But there’s of course some elements common to all the countries, mainly because continental cuisine was formed by all that brought by colonists. Nowadays, you won’t find so much use of maize if we compare it to America, but you’ll see ingredients that are not European in origin and which have been well adapted to every region’s liking and need.
European Passport For Rice
This may be a worldwide phenomenon, but rice is one of the ingredients in that list. Originally from Asia, European countries, through colonization have taken this grain and used it for a long time. So much so that they even took it to America later. Rice therefore traveled all over the world and is now consumed by everyone.
In continental cuisine, in some areas more than others, rice plays a great deal of a role. For example, if we think about risotto, made specifically out of rice, our mind goes directly to Italy, a country in which we can probably find a surprising lot of recipes based on rice.
Risotto Found A New Homeland
But risotto, now that we mention it, is a fun example because it became so worldwide popular that it is no longer Italy’s domain, even though there’s probably nothing compared to eating an Italian risotto by the Fontana di Trevi.
But what if we changed scenarios and picture ourselves tasting a delicious French risotto by the Eiffel Tower or the Arch of Triumph? Would you still agree to that? Or, even better, tasting a true French dish right at the comfort of your own house? You can’t say no now!
French risotto brings some new ingredients to the table as it’s made with bacon and, of course, rice. From the many varieties of rice we may find, this Arborio rice recipe is probably the one you were looking for. Try it out and stamp risotto’s French passport already.
- 2 cups of Arborio rice.
- 4 cups of vegetables stock.
- ½ cup of dry white wine.
- 2 onions.
- 1 cup of mushrooms.
- 6 or 7 slices of bacon.
- Bay leaves.
- Parmesan cheese.
- In a large pan, heat up four cups of water and add two vegetables -flavored cubes. Bring this to a boil and set your broth aside. You’ll use it later in the recipe.
- As for the risotto, you’ll start by heating up some butter in a skillet. Keep the heat to a low because butter easily burns.
- Peel, wash and finely slice two onions and add that to the skillet. Season with salt and stir. Cook until the onion is translucent (about 5 minutes).
- In the meantime, wash and halve the mushrooms. Add them to the skillet and cook until they are soft and tender. Stir frequently.
- Add the white wine and two cups of rice. Cook until rice is browned.
- Make sure your broth is still hot or heat it up again. Bring it a boil and add three cups of broth to the rice skillet. Stir and make sure all the liquids blend together.
- Season with salt, pepper, oregano and paprika and let the mix cook until rice has absorbed the broth. That should take about fifteen minutes. Do not cover the skillet.
- As rice is cooking, take a smaller skillet and heat up some more butter. Add the previously chopped slices of bacon and toast them until crispy. Once it’s done, remove from the heat and let the bacon sit aside.
- Make sure rice is fully cooked and turn the heat off. Add some butter to the mix and stir.
- Now add the chopped bay leaves, the crispy bacon and some Parmesan cheese to your liking. Give everything a good stir and serve!