email printSpring Green Risotto and Halibut with Lemon Butter & Crispy Shallots

So we spent New Years this year in true new parental form….Like f’ing rock stars yo!  Like straight Jay Z and Beyonce status.  Yup, you know how we roll.  No…….No…….I’m kidding.  We had actually planned an evening in our pj’s on the couch celebrating New Years via East Coast time (because we anticipated falling asleep early.  Gawd, what has happened to us?!) sigh.  We usually have friend’s over for dinner on NYE.  We didn’t this year.  Honestly, I didn’t even want to go through the pain of asking them, and having them decline.  I mean, who wants to hang with 2 new parents and an infant on NYE?  I’m no dumbdumb.  We did end up staying awake until 2:30am which I haven’t done in YEARS.  I in my party dress and stilettos, husband in his dapper tux.  We had a dance party in our living room, just the two of us, after the baby was asleep and at midnight we had a balloon drop.  Nope.  I’m totally lying again.  We did stay up until 2:30 but we both were in sweats, and I’m pretty sure I had baby puke on me.

So in honor of our huge 2013 extravaganza on the couch, I decided to try out some new recipes.  These 2 our supa dupa winners.  (I truly didn’t even realize until after that I had used recipes from 2 of my most fave females:  Giada and Ina!)  I would pay some good monies to have these both in a restaurant.  Seriously, this risotto was one of the best I’ve ever had.  I apologize for the poor photo of the food.  I was starving at that point and could care little about lighting.  Just cared about putting it in my belly!  Please try both of these recipes because I know they will go on your list of “go to’s”.


Halibut with Lemon Butter and Crispy Shallots

Lemon Butter:

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

Halibut and Crispy Shallots:

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large cloves garlic, smashed
  • 4 halibut fillets (each 4 to 5 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
  • 2 large shallots, cut into rounds, separated into rings
  • Lemon wedges, for garnish

For the lemon butter: Whisk together the lemon juice, salt, pepper, lemon zest and butter in a deep medium bowl until well blended (mixture will be like a thick sauce). Set aside until ready to use.

For the halibut and crispy shallots: Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and garlic in an 8-by-8-by-2-inch glass dish. Whisk the marinade to blend. Add the halibut and turn several times to coat evenly. Let stand 15 to 20 minutes.

Combine the grapeseed oil and shallots in a medium heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring often, until the oil heats up and the shallots turn golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the shallots with a slotted spoon to several layers of paper towels to drain and crisp. Sprinkle with salt and pepper just before using.

Heat a large dry nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Lift the halibut from the marinade, letting the excess drain off. Add the halibut to the hot skillet and sear 3 minutes. Turn the fish over using a flexible metal spatula. Sear until still slightly pink in the center, about 3 minutes longer, depending on thickness. Transfer the halibut to plates. Top with a generous dollop of lemon-butter and pile the shallots alongside or scatter around the fish. Garnish with the lemon wedges and serve.

Spring Green Risotto

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks)
  • 1 cup chopped fennel
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • 4 to 5 cups simmering chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 pound thin asparagus
  • 10 ounces frozen peas, defrosted, or 1 1/2 cups shelled fresh peas
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, preferably Italian
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives, plus extra for serving

Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and fennel and saute for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender. Add the rice and stir for a minute to coat with the vegetables, oil, and butter. Add the white wine and simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until most of the wine has been absorbed. Add the chicken stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring almost constantly and waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more. This process should take 25 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the asparagus diagonally in 1 1/2-inch lengths and discard the tough ends. Blanch in boiling salted water for 4 to 5 minutes, until al dente. Drain and cool immediately in ice water. (If using fresh peas, blanch them in boiling water for a few minutes until the starchiness is gone.)

When the risotto has been cooking for 15 minutes, drain the asparagus and add it to the risotto with the peas, lemon zest, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Continue cooking and adding stock, stirring almost constantly, until the rice is tender but still firm.

Whisk the lemon juice and mascarpone together in a small bowl. When the risotto is done, turn off the heat and stir in the mascarpone mixture plus the Parmesan cheese and chives. Set aside, off the heat, for a few minutes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve hot with a sprinkling of chives and more Parmesan cheese.



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