Chef and owner of Chives Canadian Bistro in Halifax, Craig Flinn, makes approachable market-driven food, such as this delish risotto.
3 cups chicken stock
6 oz. smoky bacon, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
3⁄4 cup superfine arborio or carnaroli rice
4 oz. dry white wine
1⁄2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
1⁄4 cup sliced chives, plus extra for garnish
2 tbsp canola (or olive) oil
20 10- to 20-count sea scallops
Salt and pepper to taste
Step 1: In a large pot, heat stock to a simmer. In a separate pot, sauté bacon, shallot and garlic in oil and butter until slightly browned. Add rice and cook over medium heat until translucent, about 2 minutes.
Step 2: Add wine; stir until it evaporates. Slowly add hot stock one ladle at a time, allowing the previous ladle of liquid to reduce first. This process will take 15 to 20 minutes, total.
Step 3: When rice is cooked yet still firm to the bite, remove from heat and stir in cheese and chives. Let rest 5 minutes.
Step 4: Meanwhile, heat canola oil in a frying pan. Sear the scallops for 90 seconds on each side until browned. Season with salt and pepper.
Step 5: Spoon risotto onto a platter; place scallops on top. Garnish with more cheese and chives.