Beer Cheese Risotto with Bacon

6 cups low-sodium chicken broth

6 slices thick-cut bacon, ½-inch dice

½ cup yellow onion, ¼-inch dice

1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced

2 cups Arborio rice, uncooked

12 ounces good malty beer, either a brown ale or amber ale

¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated

6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Micro greens for garnish

Pour broth into a medium pan and set over medium heat; bring to a gentle simmer and reduce heat to low. Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped bacon and cook 4-5 minutes or until browned; remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with a paper towel and dispose of all but 2 tablespoons of bacon grease, return pan to flame.

Add onion to the skillet and cook 4-5 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic and stir; cook until fragrant. Stir in the Arborio rice and cook 2-3 minutes or until just beginning to brown.

Add beer and stir; cook several minutes or until beer is absorbed.

Working ½ cup at a time, add the hot chicken broth to the skillet and stir often, allowing rice to simmer slowly and absorb the broth. Continue adding broth in small increments and until rice is fully cooked and tender, about 30 minutes.

Stir in the parmesan, cheddar and cayenne pepper; stir until melted and combined. Fold in half of the crispy cooked bacon.

Remove risotto from heat and serve hot. Garnish each dish with some crispy chopped bacon, a little pinch of shredded cheddar cheese and pinch of micro greens.

Serves 6

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