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Recipe of the Month -
June 2003

Ingredients

2 x salmon fillets, (175-225g), skinned
1 tablespoon olive oil
large knob of butter
2 lemon wedges - optional
salt and pepper

125g arborio risotto rice
40g butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 x onion
1 x leek
600-700ml hot fish or vegetable stock, bought ready made or cubes
2 x tablespoons freshly grated parmesan



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Buttery pan fried salmon with leek risotto

 


Fresh salmon is a delight to eat, particularly when baked with lemon and butter in a foil parcel, allowing none of the wonderful juices to be lost - maintaining a succulent moist finish. A great and simple accompaniment to the salmon is the leek risotto, made using arborio risotto rice creating a creamy texture and rich flavour.

This dish is a delightful meal for that romantic summer evening, with simple, uncomplicated preparation leaving you with wonderful flavours and textures to savour and enjoy, along with that perfect accompaniment of a glass or two of something fizzy!

Serves 2 as a main course


Method

For the risotto:
Peel, halve and finely chop the onion. Trim the top and bottom off the leek and thinly slice. Place in a colander or sieve and rinse thoroughly under cold water. The leeks can now be quickly pre-cooked, plunging them into boiling salted water for literally just a minute or two and softened. Now drain in a colander and allow the leeks to cool naturally.

Melt the olive oil and half of the butter in a frying pan. Add the onion and cook gently for 4-5 minutes until softening without colour.
Add the rice and continue to cook, stirring for 1-2 minutes. Add the hot stock a ladleful at a time, stirring and cooking the risotto over a barely simmering heat. As the stock is absorbed, the next ladle of stock can be added, continuing until the rice is at a tender stage still maintaining a slight bite. The leeks can now be added, seasoning the risotto with salt and pepper, before stirring in the grated parmesan cheese. The cheese will thicken the risotto a little, it needing to be loosened with a further ladle or two of the stock.
Not all of the stock may be needed. It is, however, always wise to make this quantity, being prepared for the ladlefuls as required.

The salmon fillets can begin to be panfried 10 minutes before the risotto is ready. Season the fillet portions with salt only on their presentation side, sprinkling with salt and pepper on the opposite. Warm the olive oil in a frying pan along with the butter over a moderate heat. Once bubbling, place the fillets in the pan presentation side down. These can now be fried for 6-7 minutes, allowing a slight colour to be taken on. At this point, turn the fish in the pan removing it from the heat. The warmth remaining in the pan will continue the cooking process without over cooking and drying out the fish.
This now provides just enough time to finish the risotto, offering the two side by side with a wedge of lemon, if using.

 
 

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