I know what you’re thinking. Walnuts, Bacon, Mushrooms and Rice? Does this chick even eat bacon? Well, I do. Turkey Bacon that is. A friend of mine (hi Ian!) will get mad at me for even suggesting that the two are remotely similar and I really can’t make an honest distinction because I’ve never had real bacon. But if real bacon is half as good as turkey bacon then I totally get the obsession.
This recipe isn’t original. It’s adapted from the perpetually awesome Mediterrasian cookbook and website. I’ve made Ric and Trudy’s recipe before (you can find it here) and it is the absolute definition of rustic comfort food. I tasted the rusticness (? Rusticity?) the second I took the first bite while visions of log cabins and deer head wall mounts danced in my head. Trust me. TRY THIS RECIPE!
What led to the adaptation? Well, after Diwali, I had what is known as a crapload of basmati rice left over. Two whole trays. But it left me and Rabin (proud semi-abstainers of rice) with a lot of rice and not much to do with it. But then I remembered the flavour profile of this recipe and I don’t wanna say that I ran to the fridge to get the ingredients… But I also don’t wanna say that I didn’t run. Ok… I ran.
The original recipe is made with arborio rice which is ideal for risottos. My adaptation isn’t creamy or smooth, it has more of a fried rice texture than the sticky creaminess of risotto. I also love that the recipe is one pan. You literally push the rice in the corner of the pan and cook and then cook. I love it because that way, the rice can absorb every single bit of flavour and seasoning and wine and turkey bacon fat. Oh man… just typing this has my stomach growling.
Walnut, Bacon & Mushroom Pilaf
3 tbsp Olive Oil
1 medium Onion, sliced
2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
3 slices Turkey Bacon, diced
2 cups cooked Basmati Rice
½ cup Walnuts, roughly chopped
2 cups Mushrooms (I used canned mushrooms, increase to 3-4 cups if using fresh)
1/3 cup White Wine
½ -1 tsp Black Pepper
½ -1 tsp Salt
1/3 – 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
Preheat oven to 350. Toast walnuts for 8-10 minutes.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Sautee onions until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add Mushrooms and cook until water is released. Mix rice & walnuts into onions, garlic & mushrooms and sautee for 1 minute.
Push mixture to side of pan and add turkey bacon to the clean side of pan. Cook until crispy and combine with the rice mixture. Add wine, salt & pepper and cook until all liquid has evaporated. Stir in cheese and serve immediately.
So try both recipes simply because the combination of ingredients is just so good!
On another note, Rabin and I plan to put up our Christmas tree this Friday – play our favourite hipster Christmas tunes, light some evergreen or cinnamon candles, and drink hot cocoa. We felt so smug, thinking that we’re way ahead of the game because come on, it’s still November…but almost everyone I’ve talked to has their tree up already! Are all of your gifts wrapped already too? Huh? #sarcasm