November 13, 2008
It was been raining steadily all day and I’ve been in the mood for risotto. Done properly, risotto can be stick-to-your-ribs good and perfect for a dreary day like today. I came across this recipe in the RSVP restaurant recipe section of the November 2008 Bon Appétit (one of my favorite features in the magazine). The recipe calls for fairly basic ingredients, all of which make for a classic risotto. I liked the idea of pairing it with fish since fish always seems like a good idea to me.
I used oyster and shiitake mushrooms for this recipe.
Striped Bass with Mushroom Risotto (adapted from San Diego’s Quarter Kitchen’s recipe in Bon Appétit)
6 C. low salt chicken broth
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, divided in half
3 + 3 Tbs. shallots
1 clove garlic, minced
12 oz. assorted wild mushrooms (chanterelle, crimini, or shiitake)
1 3/4 C. arborio rice
1 C. dry white wine
1/3 C. chopped Italian parsley
1/3 C. Parmesan cheese (plus more to taste)
3 Tbs. olive oil
4 5 oz. striped bass fillets
Simmer broth in medium saucepan and keep warm. Melt 1/4 C. (1/2 stick) of butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 3 Tbs. shallots, garlic, and the mushrooms. Sauté until mushrooms are soft (about 10 minutes). Season with salt and pepper.
Melt 1/4 C. (1/2 stick) in another heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 3 Tbs. shallots, sauté until soft, about 2 minutes. Add rice and stir for 1 minute.
Add wine and stir until almost dry, about 4 minutes. Add 1 C. warm broth and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 2 C. broth and simmer 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 2 C. broth, mushroom mixture, parsley, and 1/3 C. cheese. Simmer until creamy and rice is tender, but still firm to bite, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, set oven on broil. Add oil to ovenproof skillet on high heat. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper and cook, skin side down until skin is crisp (about 4 mintues).
Transfer skillet to oven and broil about 6 inches from heat for about 4-6 minutes until fish is cooked through.
Serve risotto with more parmesan cheese to taste and top with fish. I drizzled with risotto with a truffle olive oil – mmmm.
May 15, 2008
A colorful spring dinner
This mercurial spring weather is very trying, to say the least. After what seems like interminable dreary rainy days, the weather clears to a glorious sun-drenched day. In honor of the lovely weather, I thought I’d make something light and springy for dinner.
Freshly picked salad from our garden
Our mesclun mix is ready for picking, so we had a dinner of spring mix salad, Spanish mackerel with herbs from our garden and Nigella Nawson’s recipe for new potatoes. Mackerel is one of those “throw back” fish and often ignored at the fish market. Full of omega-3 fatty acids, mackerel is prolific reproducer and earns a “best” rating from Seafood Watch. If you don’t normally care for oily fish, try this recipe. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Broiled Spanish Mackerel with Tomato and Herbs
(adapted from Gourmet)
2 lb. Spanish mackerel fillets with skin on
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 C. mayonnaise
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs. chopped fresh dill
2 Tbs. chopped fresh chives
3 medium tomatoes (3/4 lb total), cut into 3/8 inch thick slices
Preheat broiler. Line rack of a broiler pan with foil. Put fish skin sides down on foil and sprinkle with pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, dill, and chives in a small bowl. Spread evenly over fish, then cover with tomato slices, overlapping slightly, and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Broil fish 3 to 4 inches from heat until just cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes.
This is my all-time favorite potato recipe, but try to use new potatoes which are in season right now. New potatoes have a sweetness to them not found in russet, red or even Yukon gold potatoes. If you’ve never tried this recipe, you are depriving you and your loved ones of the most delicious potato dish ever.
Nigella Lawson’s Sticky Garlic Potatoes
2 lbs small new potatoes (you can substitute Yukon Gold potatoes, but new potatoes taste vastly superior)
8-10 whole garlic cloves (don’t be shy)
1/2 cup olive oil
Bring a pan of salted water to a boil, and cook the potatoes with skin on for 30 minutes. Drain and put back into the dry pan. Peel and crush the garlic cloves and put them in the dry pan with the potatoes. Mashes the potatoes loosely (I love to leave big clumps of unmashed potatoes).
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and place a roasting pan in to heat up at the same time. When the oven is hot, pour the oil into the pan and leave it to heat up for 10 minutes.
Carefully place the potatoes and garlic into the hot oil and cook for 15 minutes. Then turn the potatoes over and cook another 15 minutes until browned and crispy. Serve immediately.