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Pan-Seared Whitefish with Sweet Pea and Corn Risotto


    Feel free to vary your fish fillets with whatever is seasonal and available. Keep in mind that whitefish is best taken off direct heat while medium rare to ensure it is not overcooked at the table.


    6 whitefish fillets (or perch or snapper)
    1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
    Freshly ground white peppercorns, to taste

    Corn Stock

    4 smoked husks of corn (can be done in a smoker or in aluminum foil on a barbecue)
    1/2 cup (125 mL) celery, chopped
    1/2 cup (125 mL) leek, chopped (remove green outer leaves)
    4 lime leaves
    5 white peppercorns
    1 serrano pepper

    Cover all ingredients with water. Bring to boil and simmer for 1 hour. Remove from heat. Remove lime leaves and serrano pepper. Cover and leave to cool for 24 hours before straining.

    Sweet Pea and Corn Risotto

    2 ears corn
    1 shallot, chopped
    1 clove garlic, chopped
    2 cups (500 mL) risotto rice (Arborio for best results)
    1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
    2 cups (500 mL) corn stock
    1 cup (250 mL) sweet peas, blanched
    2 Tbsp (30 mL) unsalted butter, diced
    1/2 cup (125 mL) Italian parsley, chopped
    2 Tbsp (30 mL) chives, chopped
    1 Tbsp (15 mL) preserved lemon, chopped
    Watercress and pea shoots, to dress
    Toscano cheese, or similar, to taste

    Grill corn ears to colour on barbecue. Cut from cob and reserve.

    Sweat shallot in olive oil over medium-high heat for a few seconds. Add garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute. Add rice and salt. Stir for 1 to 2 minutes. Start adding hot corn stock a little bit at a time, adding more as it evaporates. Continue until rice becomes al dente.

    Add grilled corn kernels, sweet peas, and 1 Tbsp (15 mL) of the diced butter; continue cooking, adding more stock as needed. Finish by adding the remaining butter, parsley, chives, and chopped preserved lemon. Garnish with watercress, pea shoots, and shaved Toscano cheese.


    Season fish fillets with salt and pepper. Heat large frying pan over medium-high heat.
    Add a small amount of olive oil to pan and immediately add fish skin-side down to cook for no more than 2 minutes. Turn and finish for another minute.

    Remove and plate fish atop risotto.

    Serves 6.

    source: "Treadwell", alive #396, June 2007


    Pan-Seared Whitefish with Sweet Pea and Corn Risotto




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