Tag Archives: lemon risotto

Herb and Onion Roasted Whole Red Snapper with Lemon Risotto

2 Jan

Herb and Onion Whole Red Snapper with Lemon Risotto

Clearly, I have been somewhat neglectful in updating this blog.  Between finals wrapping up, the holidays, and moot court, I have been seriously under water.  I have a feeling the posts will remain a bit sparse over the next couple of weeks as we finish up our moot court brief and we get into the groove of a diet change.  Bear with me, and I will (hopefully!) be soon back to posting nearly every day.

This dinner was delicious. The flavors of the herbs, onions, and lemons imparted while the snapper roasted in the oven worked beautifully with the bright, lemon flavor of the creamy risotto we served it with.  The cilantro added an especially fresh element that worked really well with the lemon.

If you are intimidated by a whole fish, don’t be!  It is incredibly easy and almost guarantees moist, succulent flesh.  I have previously posted a step-by-step picture tutorial demonstrating how to prepare a cleaned, gutted, and scaled fish for roasting.  Other than that, all that is required is a little seasoning and a little bit of attention while it roasts to make sure you don’t overcook the fish.  A meat thermometer is your best friend when it comes to fish, especially if you’re dealing with a fish you haven’t cooked before.

This is a particularly good risotto, as well.  The lemon zest and juice adds a lovely, bright, acidity, balanced beautifully with the hint of butter and cream.  The pronounced lemon flavor goes particularly well with the fish, but this would make a great main course on its own or an excellent accompaniment to almost any meat.

Herb and Onion Roasted Whole Red Snapper with Lemon Risotto

Herb and Onion Roasted Whole Red Snapper:

1 1 3/4 pound whole red snapper, gutted with scales and gills removed

1/3 cup olive oil

1 tbs. kosher salt

1 tbs. freshly cracked black pepper

1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced

1/2 cup fresh cilantro

6-8 sprigs fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

1 lemon, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 450º.

Season fish all over, including inside the cavity, with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.  Rub the entire fish, including inside the cavity, with olive oil.

In a baking dish large enough to hold the fish, place about one quarter of the onion, cilantro, thyme, and lemon.  Stuff the remaining herbs and most of the onion and lemon into the cavity and gills of the fish.  Lay a few slices of onion and lemon over the top of the fish.

Roast fish for about 30-35 minutes until the flesh is opaque and flakes easily with a fork and the internal temperature of the fish reads 145º.  Serve whole or cut into fillets before serving.

Lemon Risotto:

1 cup arborio rice

1 tbs. olive oil

5-6 cups homemade chicken stock

1 bay leaf

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

2 lemons, juiced and zested (yield about 1 cup lemon juice and 1 tbs. zest)

1 tbs. unsalted butter

1/4 cup half and half

Bring chicken stock and bay leaf to a boil in a medium stock pot.  Cover and reduce heat to a simmer.

Heat a 10″ cast iron pan over medium-high heat.  Add arborio rice and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly golden brown, about 4-5 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium-low.  Add lemon zest and cook until fragrant, thirty seconds to a minute.

Ladle in about 3/4 cup stock.  Stirring frequently, cook until most of the stock has been absorbed by the rice.  Repeat the process in 3/4 to 1 cup batches, stirring frequently, until the rice is tender.  This will take about 35-45 minutes.

With the last bit of chicken stock, add the lemon juice.  Cook, stirring constantly, until mostly absorbed.  Add butter and half and half and stir to combine.  Cook another 1-2 minutes until rice is creamy but not soupy.  Serve immediately.

Lemon-Vegetable Risotto

6 Jul

This creamy risotto was colorful, flavorful, and full of good-for-you vegetables.  The lemon flavor was very pronounced and brightened up the whole dish to transform this risotto to a summer-appropriate dish.  I adapted this recipe from Cooking Light, swapping out several of the vegetables in the original recipe for what I had on hand and was freshest.  I was very impressed with the variation in texture from the slightly crisp carrots to the ultra-creamy Arborio rice.  The real tricks here are almost constantly stirring the risotto to release the starch of the rice, never allowing the rice to become overly dry or overly soupy, and adding the butter and cheese at the end for a creamy finish.

Lemon-Vegetable Risotto

Adapted from Cooking Light, July 2011 edition

1 tbs. olive oil

2-3 cloves heirloom garlic

2-3 green onions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated

1/2 large zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2″ slices

1/2 cup sliced crimini mushrooms

1 small carrot, peeled and diced

5 cups homemade chicken stock

 3/4 cup uncooked Arborio rice

1/4 cup freshly grated Romano cheese

1 tsp. lemon zest, grated

1 lemon, juiced

1 tbs. unsalted butter

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Bring chicken stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan.  Cover and reduce heat to low.

Heat a 10″ cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Add olive oil to pan and heat.  Add zucchini, carrot, mushrooms and whites and light green parts of green onion.  Cook for 5-7 minutes until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.  Add garlic and cook until just fragrant, about 10-15 seconds.  Use a slotted spoon to remove vegetables from heat.  Set aside.

If necessary, add another splash of olive oil to the same cast iron skillet in which vegetables were cooked over medium heat.  Add rice and cook for 2-4 minutes until very slightly golden brown.  Add 1/4 cup of chicken stock and cook, stirring constantly, until liquid is absorbed, about 30 seconds.  Stir in another cup of broth.  Cook 5-7 minutes until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring almost constantly.  Reserving at least 1/4 cup broth, add remaining broth 1 cup at a time, stirring almost constantly.  Wait until each portion of broth is nearly absorbed before adding next batch.

Stir in the vegetables.  Cook 2-3 minutes until thoroughly heated.

Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup of broth, cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, greens from green onions and butter.  Taste for seasonings and season with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper as necessary.

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