Monday, May 5, 2014

Halibut with Lemon Sauce and Risotto

I'm late writing because I've been working on the new bathroom, the plumber is finished everything but final hookup. Tile the floor and then the sink and toilet can be installed. Hopefully that will all be done by Wednesday, if I work hard and fast. 

Risotto takes a lot more work than potatoes but rewards the chef with rich flavour. I used 1 to 1 rice to water and half cooked the rice in that. When the water is absorbed I started adding fresh chicken stock and stirring frequently. The stirring releases starch into the liquid and thickens it, which is why you have to use arborio rice which does this easily. Continue adding stock and stirring till the rice is al dente. Almost firm. Once the rice is cooked, stir in the grated parmesan cheese and serve immediately. Italian parmesan is worth the price, domestic is not.

Halibut has been in season for a few weeks but it takes this long to catch and deliver to stores. The skin is on these fillets but there are no scales to remove. I seasoned the meat with salt and Cajun spice mix. I got a pan with olive oil hot and put the skin side down. I had to turn the meat over to finish cooking but that seems to have worked fine.

The vegetables, fresh carrots, frozen peas, were done in the microwave and finished with butter. I know peas and carrots absolutely scream 'SUBURBS!' but that's where I was raised so I like them.

Lemon sauce was a heaping tsp of flour and 2-3 tsp butter. Cook the flour taste off in the butter for a minute or so. Add fresh chicken stock, about half a cup and whisk. It will thicken quickly so add more stock till it stays liquid but thick. Add 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1/4 tsp salt and taste.  Add lemon juice a few drops at a time till lemon predominates but the sauce is not sour, just tangy. Stir in a tablespoon of fresh chives. I did a nice job on the Halibut skin so it would have been better to put the lemon sauce down and the fish on top. Next time.

Fern says my risotto is too wet but otherwise the meal is absolutely delicious. Neither of us like fish skin but this came out great. Fishy but in a nice way. The fish was perfect. Flaky but moist inside. 

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