Chris' Recipes

Bon Appetite!

Halibut, Risotto and Roasted Carrot, Ginger Puree

Written By: Chris - May• 04•15

I was recently preparing some Halibut and wanted to change the flavor profile up a bit and created this dish based on ingredients that I had on hand in the fridge.  Risotto is a north Italian rice dish that is really not all that hard to prepare, but you need to give yourself a half hour to 40 minutes to get it just right.  It’s rice that is cooked in a broth to a creamy consistency. The broth can be derived from meat, fish, or vegetable; I choose chicken stock. Many types of risotto contain butter, wine and onion it is one of the most common ways of cooking rice in Italy.

There are many different risotto recipes with different ingredients, but they are all based on a standard cooking method.  The rice is first cooked briefly in a “soffritto” (another word for Mirepoix – A mixture of seasonings and finely chopped vegetables, such as onions, garlic, and celery, that is sautéed in olive oil and used as a base for many Italian dishes.) of onion and butter or olive oil to coat each grain in a film of fat, called tostatura; white or red wine is added and has to be absorbed by the grains. When it has evaporated, the heat is raised to medium high and very hot stock is gradually added in small amounts while stirring gently, almost constantly.  The stirring loosens the starch molecules from the outside of the rice grains into the surrounding liquid, creating a smooth creamy-textured liquid.

It’s one of Chef Ramsey’s regular items on his show “Hell’s Kitchen”.  I know he says that properly cooked risotto is rich and creamy but still with some resistance or bite: al dente, and with separate grains. The traditional texture is fairly fluid, or all’onda (“wavy, or flowing in waves”). It is typically served on flat dishes and it should easily spread out but not have excess watery liquid around the perimeter.  I deliberately cooked mine a little longer, so that I could serve it in a ring mold and I’m not sure if Chef would approve!  Risotto can only be made using Italian rice and I find Arborio easily at the grocery store.  This rice is high in starch which creates the creaminess as the stubby grains allow risotto rice to absorb more flavors while cooking.  We love the flavor and colors of Saffron and Parmesan cheese for a simple variety.

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Ingredients: 

Halibut fillets, skinless, boneless
Peas, for side dish
2 – 4 Cups Chicken stock, divided
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Onion, minced
1 Cup Aborio Rice
1/3 Cup Dry White Wine
1 Pinch Saffron
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

Keep chicken stock heated in a saucepan.  Meanwhile, in another pan, soften chopped onion in butter and olive oil.

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Then add the rice and stir, coating it gently so that all the grains are coated.

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They will become somewhat translucent; when you should add the saffron and a good splash of wine.

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Once absorbed, gradually add just enough hot stock to barely cover the rice.  Cook and continually stir until it is absorbed and every so often give it a gentle stir, which releases the starch making the risotto creamy.

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Continue cooking in this manner, adding broth a bit at a time.

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The rice is done when it is tender, yet firm to the bite.  Finally, when the liquid has been absorbed, add your preferred ingredients.  I stirred in the cheese.  Season with Salt, to taste.

To prepare the carrot puree:
6 Carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 Onion, chopped
Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Ginger, grated
1 teaspoon Tahini Paste
1/3 Cup Cream
1 Tablespoon Asian Mayo
1 teaspoon Cumin
Pinch Cayenne
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Peel and chop carrots and onions.  Coat with a drizzle of olive oil; and season with salt and pepper.

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Bake uncovered for 35 minutes or until vegetables are soft.

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Blend the remaining puree ingredients until soft.

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Pan fry Halibut in a little bit of oil over very high heat to coat a crisp edge and until the center is no longer translucent.  Heat peas for a side dish.

Ingredients Sauce:
1 Tablespoon Butter, melted
1 Tablespoon Ginger, grated
2 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
2 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon Fish Sauce
3 Tablespoons White Wine
2 Tablespoons Hoisin
2 Tablespoons Cilantro, fresh minced
dash Hot Sesame Oil

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Grate additional ginger and combine all other ingredients except the Hoisin and sesame oil.

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Combine and cook in saucepan until reduced by half.  Set aside.

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Using a ring mold is optional to plate the risotto.  Top with puree, cooked fish and sauce.  Serve with peas.

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We paired this meal with a 2010 Chianti sample from RUFFINO that was delicious!

Enjoy!
Cheers!
~Chris

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