I do believe winter has finally arrived in Coronado. After 80 degree temps less than a week ago, we now have frost advisories. Dooley is in Newfy bliss during his morning walks, and I am enjoying heated seats on the way to work. Maybe now I can get in the holiday spirit and get busy on some gift ideas from my kitchen. But first, I needed to use up some beautiful leeks hanging around from Thanksgiving with Bon Appetit's Leek and Bacon Risotto, wtih Poached Egg.
Poached and fried eggs have been complementing some of our best salads, sandwiches and pastas this past year, and I'm happy to report they are lovely perched atop risotto. I prefer poached to fried, and have perfected my poached eggs with Michael Ruhlman's badass perforated spoon method, here. The recipe below provides the method for preparing poached eggs in advance, another cool trick, and especially helpful if you're cooking for a crowd.
Leek and Pancetta Risotto with Poached Egg
Slightly adapted from Bon Appetit
Serves 4 as an entree
4 large eggs
4-5 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 ounces pancetta (thinly sliced or diced, depending on thickness)
3 cups thinly sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only; about 3 large)
1 ½ cups arborio rice
3/4 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh Italian parsley leaves (for garnish)
Additional finely grated Parmesan cheese (for garnish)
Bring large skillet of water just to simmer over medium-low heat. Sprinkle water with salt. Using the badass perforated spoon, or similar, and working with 1 egg at a time, crack each egg into a large perforated spoon and let the loose white drain off, and then slip each egg into a ramekin. Slide egg out of the ramekin into simmering water, and cook eggs until whites are cooked through but yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, carefully transfer poached eggs to medium bowl filled with ice water (eggs can be made up to 1 day ahead; cover and refrigerate in same bowl of ice water).
Bring chicken broth to simmer in medium saucepan; cover to keep warm. Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook until crisp, stirring occasionally. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towels to drain; reserve half for garnish. Add leeks to drippings in pan and cook until soft but not brown, stirring often, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer 2 generous tablespoonfuls leeks to small bowl; reserve for garnish. Add rice to pan; stir 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine; stir until absorbed, about 2 minutes (wine stops the rice from frying and adds flavor). Add ½ cup warm broth to saucepan; stir until broth is absorbed. Repeat, adding broth and stirring until rice is tender but still firm to bite and sauce is creamy, stirring almost constantly, about 20-25 minutes total. Add half of pancetta, chopped parsley, butter, and cheese. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Reheat poached eggs in barely simmering water for about one minute.
Divide risotto among 4 bowls. Top risotto in each bowl with poached egg. Sprinkle egg with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley leaves, additional cheese, and reserved leeks and pancetta.