Thursday, June 17, 2010

jalapeno bacon cheeseburger...risotto!

I wanted a cheeseburger.  I wanted a cheeseburger bad.

And I didn't want just any old cheeseburger.  I wanted one of those massive, juicy, spicy, bacon-y, delicious numbers that you have to pay at least $6 for at any respectable fast food establishment.

Then I remembered that I'm supposed to be avoiding wheat right now...and there went my dreams.

Just kidding!  Since when have I ever let my diet dictate what tastes I'm allowed to enjoy?  I decided that I was going to have my cheeseburger, even if I couldn't eat the bun.  And have it, I did!

This recipe requires just a few basic ingredients: ground beef or turkey, bacon or turkey bacon, beef broth, arborio rice, 1-2 jalapenos (diced), about 1 cup of sliced mushrooms, and the optional addition of cheddar cheese (not pictured).

In my attempt to prepare for a trip to the beach, I used turkey products.  On any other occasion, I would probably spring for real hamburger meat and bacon.  Whichever you decide to use is up to you - you won't be disappointed either way!

To prep, put all of your beef broth in a pan on the stove, and turn it to low.  You will want it to warm up for later.

Toss your ground meat into a nonstick skillet.  Cook it, remove it, and keep it warm.

Dice up about 6 pieces of bacon (or more...or less) and cook those in the same skillet until they get crispy.

Remove the bacon and keep with the hamburger meat.  You'll need these later!

Now, right into the bacon grease, toss in your mushrooms and jalapeno.  Cook on medium heat until the mushrooms are tender.

At this point, you are ready to throw in the rice.  I found it necessary to plop in a pat of butter because my turkey bacon didn't produce enough grease.  If you used real hamburger and bacon, you won't need the butter.  If your pan is looking a little dry, though, get out the butter or margarine of your choice and drop a spoonful in.

Add 1 cup of arborio rice to the skillet and cook and stir on medium heat for about 4-5 minutes.  You can also add any seasonings you want.  I suggest creole seasoning or just plain old salt and pepper.

At this point, you want to add your beef broth, about 1/2 cup at a time.

Each time you pour the broth in, you need to stir it into the rice and cook it until all of the moisture is absorbed.

I've heard from a lot of people that risotto is too scary of a dish to make - how do you know when the rice is done?  What if it's too al dente?  too mushy?

Well, my friends, there's an easy answer to that dilemma.  You taste it.

Yes, reach a spoon into the dish and taste it.  I'm of the belief that if I'm the one who is going to be enjoying the risotto, then it is done when I say it is.  I continue adding liquid until the rice has reached the consistency I want.  It's a good rule of thumb, and I've never been disappointed.

I generally add all of the 4 cups of broth, and sometimes I throw in another half cup of water.  Just keep adding liquid, cooking and stirring, and tasting (one half cup at a time) until you get it just right.

Once your rice is cooked, add that meat back in.

And then, to give it that truly cheeseburger taste, add about a cup (or more!) of shredded cheddar cheese.

Stir until the cheese is melted, and then serve it up!

I tell you, this risotto totally hit the spot and cured my craving.  DE-LIC-IOUS!

Jalapeno Bacon Cheeseburger Risotto
4 cups beef broth
1 lb. hamburger or ground turkey
6 slices bacon or turkey bacon, diced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1-2 jalapenos, diced
1 cup arborio rice
1 cup shredded cheddar (optional)

Heat the broth on low in a saucepan.  Meanwhile, brown hamburger or ground turkey in a nonstick skillet; remove and keep warm.  Cook bacon in the same skillet until crispy; remove and keep warm.  Add mushrooms and jalapenos to the skillet; cook and stir on medium heat until mushroom is tender.  Add rice and cook and stir for 4-5 minutes, adding butter if skillet is too dry.  Add 1/2 cup of broth, cooking and stirring until liquid is completely absorbed.  Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, cooking and stirring until liquid is completely absorbed, until rice reaches desired consistency.  Add cooked meat and stir in cheddar until melted.  Serves 6.

IBS and lower-fat variation: leave out the cheddar cheese, use only ground turkey breast, and cut down on the amount of meat

Nutrition (for recipe as printed above): 348 cal, 15g fat, 6g sat fat, 0g trans fat, 86mg cholesterol, 867mg sodium, 27g carbs, 1g fiber, 0g sugar, 24g protein, 4% vit. A, 2% vit C, 16% calcium, 17% iron.

Before you gasp at the amount of fat in this recipe, may I direct your attention to the nutritional information for the Big Mac?  Thank you...thank you very much.

Note: Want to serve fries with your risotto?  I did!  What's a cheeseburger without fries?  Check out today's FoodBuzz daily special - a Crossini Nonstick French Fry Baking Sheet.   FoodBuzz has daily specials going all summer long - check back every day to find the best deals on kitchen ware!

This recipe is linked with Foodie Friday!


  1. That looks absolutely delicious!

  2. Good job on the risotto! I love how you satisfied your craving and created a new dish! Good work!!!

  3. This is going on my menu next week!! I have never made risotto so I hope I can accomplish it. YUM! Thanks again this is perfect for my hamburger loving family.

  4. This looks wonderful.

    I have to tell you that personally I eat low carb and eat bacon-cheeseburgers a couple times a month...sans the bun. I always make them at home and pile on all the wonderful things you put on a cheeseburger and do not even miss the bread. Give it a try :)


  5. I've never had anything like this before. Looks good!

  6. I have a crush on your blog! Everything looks amazing! I am definitely going to try this recipe out!

  7. This is definitely a keeper. I am new to your blog and this post lured me into reading some of your earlier features. I really enjoyed the time I spent here. You have wonderful recipes and I love the tone of your blog. I'll be back as often as time permits. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

  8. Yum! I am in Germany right now and it is funny because all the menu commands on the top of the page are all in German! But even in Germany your food looks delicious!

  9. Wow I'm just blown away, how impressive and yummy!!! Thanks so much.


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