Posts tagged ‘risotto’

January 6, 2011

Sage Butter Trout w/ Pumpkin Risotto

i’ve had a container of kobacha squash in my freezer since october. taking advantage of the recent cold weather to use it. it’ll be warm again before you know it! and by that i mean uh, February.

or next week. hard to tell sometimes in this city.

INGREDIENTS (serves 2, w extra risotto to spare)


  • ~1/2 lb steelhead trout
  • 1 tbs butter
  • fresh sage
  • truffle salt


  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • handful of crimini mushrooms
  • 1-2 handfuls of spinach, stems removed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin, cooked and pureed (other squash varieties work as well)
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 glass white wine
  • cheese, grated. i used a hard gouda
  • nutmeg



  1. heat pan on high. add tbs olive oil. fry garlic until fragrant. add and saute mushrooms until soft. remove from heat.
  2. in a small saucepan (i used the same saucepan to saute the mushrooms), heat chicken stock. reduce heat and keep on simmer.
  3. toast rice in dutch oven over medium heat
  4. spoon in a ladle of chicken stock. stir.
  5. once liquid is mostly absorbed, ladle in more stock. repeat. stirring constantly.
  6. taste rice. once it is a little harder than al dente, add mushrooms, pumpkin puree, and spinach. stir and add more chicken stock if needed to thin it out. sprinkle in a pinch or two of nutmeg. salt to taste.
  7. add white wine. stir and let rice absorb excess liquid. cover and set aside while preparing trout


  1. in a large frying pan, heat olive oil on high.
  2. salt and pepper trout on both sides.
  3. reduce heat to medium high. place trout in pan, skin side down. ~5 min until fish is cooked about half way up from the bottom.
  4. flip and continue frying ~3 min.
  5. add butter to pan, along with sage leaves. coat fish in sage butter. remove from heat.
  6. throw away sage leaves and plate trout over risotto, skin side up. sprinkle on a pinch of truffle salt. top with fresh sage leaves for garnish.

my sage leaves were also dug out from the back of my freezer. hopefully that helps explain why they are a lovely shade of ashy grey. (:

September 17, 2010

Mushroom and Leek Barlotto

I always thought risotto was one of those fancy complicated dishes that I couldn’t possibly have the skill to learn. It requires such precision in timing, proportions, and balancing of flavors that a hobby cook like myself just doesn’t have the training or experience for. And while I would love to tell you all of the above is true, it simply isn’t.

Basically, besides picking what ingredients you think will go well together, you’re just ladling in soup until the rice cooks.

That simple, folks.

Now shhh. don’t tell anyone, whip yourself up some amazing risotto, and then tell all your friends you slaved away at the stove for hours.

This is my healthier take on risotto: sans butter, and with barley instead of arborio.

INGREDIENTS: (for two)

  • 3/4 cups of pearled barley*
  • 1 med leek, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms (combining different types = more complex flavor)
  • 1/3 cup white cooking wine
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 3 cups chicken broth (left over from poaching, so pre-seasoned)
  • 1.5 cups water (or mushroom water**)
  • thyme
  • salt (i used truffle salt)
  • comte cheese (or any other semi hard, sharp buttery cheese)


  1. soak barely in water over night.
  2. if using dried mushrooms, soak in hot water over night.
  3. heat broth and water to a boil in a small sauce pan, then bring down to a simmer.
  4. in a separate shallow 2.5 quart pot, saute mushrooms until soft. season with thyme and salt. remove and set aside.
  5. reheat pot, add more oil, then saute garlic, leeks, shallots until fragrant.
  6. drain barely and add to pot to toast ~ 3 min
  7. add 1/3 cup of wine, stirring until liquid is absorbed.
  8. add a ladle-full of warm broth into barley mixture. stir for 3 min or until broth absorbed, then repeat. ~20 min or until barely is slightly chewy, not crunchy.
  9. add in mushrooms from earlier.
  10. start adjusting for consistency/soupiness. add more salt if needed.
  11. remove from heat and plate.
  12. grate cheese directly over plate and serve!

* barley takes significantly longer to cook than rice. presoaking will cut down cooking time by at least half. it also makes for a less creamy/soft risotto, but i like everything al dente anyway.

** if you used dried mushrooms, go ahead and use the water you soaked them in. never throw this away! it is mushroom infused goodness! risotto absorbs and concentrates the broth you use. never use just straight broth sans water -> too salty