While there are countless flavour variations for risotto, the sweet peas are refreshing and healthful. Alternatives, depending upon the time of year, include wild mushrooms, diced gourds, or asparagus. Fruits such as blueberries and strawberries can also be used to great applause.
1 cup (250 mL) milk
1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper, to taste
6 8-oz (225 g) perch fillets
2/3 cup (160 mL) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup (125 mL) sweet peas, blanched
2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups (500 mL) risotto rice
4 cups (1 L) hot chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup (250 mL) white wine
1 small onion, finely diced
1 Tbsp (15 mL) garlic, finely diced
2 Tbsp (30 mL) Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp (15 mL) truffle pesto (optional)
Lightly season the milk and flour with a little salt and pepper. Run the perch through the milk; then dredge it with the seasoned flour. Set aside until risotto is nearly prepared and ready to be plated.
Heat a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and olive oil, stirring until tender and translucent (approximately 3 to 4 minutes). Add risotto and stir to coat completely with oil and cook until rice becomes translucent (3 to 5 minutes). Add white wine and stir until wine is reduced before adding about 1/2 cup (125 mL) of stock. Stir until stock is absorbed. Continue adding stock a little at a time until the rice is done (about 15 to 20 minutes).
Reduce heat to medium and fold in the peas. Immediately before serving, stir in the cheese and optional truffle pesto. Season to taste.
Put the melted butter in a frying pan heated to medium-high. When the butter is hot, place the perch fillets in the pan and cook until light golden brown, turning often (approximately 4 to 5 minutes).
Lay a bed of risotto on each plate and top with perch fillets. Serve immediately.
source: "Everything Old is New Again", alive #295, May 2007
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