Monday, May 11, 2009

Salmon Chanted Evening - Risotto alla Salmone Argenteo

It was a risotto kinda night tonight. This is one of my favorites. Salmon is such an elegant fish that it is perfect for a risotto. The addition of the Mascarpone makes this a "mantecato" style risotto meaning "creamy". This can also be achieved with the addition of cream but I love the flavor of mascarpone with the salmon.

I usually make this with seafood stock, but I was out and vegetable works just as well, it also makes for a less "fishy" smell while cooking. Speaking of which, if you are not a "fish" smell person you can further reduce the smell of the finished product by adding just a pinch or two of ground clove to the stock. Something in clove reduces the smell of fish. It doesn't eliminate it completely, but it does make a difference.

I am sure there is a perfectly logical explanation for this. But I have not been able to track it down. I mean as a Fancy goldfish owner, I am aware of the use of clove oil to anesthetize fish, but I have not been performing any fish surgeries lately.

Risotto Mantecato alla Salmone Argenteo

4 TB unsalted butter – Divided
1 Small Bunch of Scallions – Chopped (White parts only)
1/2 of an English hot house cucumber – peeled, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 cups Vialone Nano or Arborio
1/2 cup Room Temperature Pinot Grigio (low mineral Sauvignon Blanc, or Semi-Seco Cava)
3 – 3 1/2 cups Fish or Vegetable Stock
small pinch or two of clove (in the stock)
3/4 lb Coho (Silver) Skinless Salmon Fillet (avoid Sockeye or Keta for this, it gets to mushy)
3 TB fresh Tarragon – Chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 TB Mascarpone
The zest of 1/2 lemon

Bring the stock to a simmer in a small sauce pan over low heat. Cover to keep it warm.

Prepare your vegetables

Cube your salmon (this works better if done ahead of time, while still slightly frozen, then bring to room temp before using)

For this I like to assemble everything and more it over to the stove on a board.

In a medium, heavy saucepan, melt 2 TB of the butter over medium heat.

Add the scallions and cucumber, sweat until they begin to turn translucent;

then add the rice and stir to coat with the butter.

Add the room temperature wine and simmer until it has almost evaporated, about 3 minutes.

Add 3/4 cup of simmering broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes.

Continue adding the broth 3/4 cup at a time, stirring frequently and allowing each addition of the broth to absorb and pull the starch out of the rice before adding the next. This should take about 10 – 12 minutes.
When you have added about 2/3 of the broth, add the cubed salmon and the tarragon.

Continue adding the rest of the broth until the rice is tender but still al dente and the mixture is creamy and the salmon is cooked, about 7 minutes.

Remove from the heat.
Stir in the remaining 2 TB of butter, Mascarpone cheese, the Lemon Zest, and the Salt and Pepper.

Plate and serve with lemon wedges, if desired...

OK, I will go ahead and share this picture. I like to play with garnishing, but sometimes what seems inspired, in theory, falls tragically short in execution.

For some strange reason, it reminds me of an 80's hair "experiment", or a jellyfish attacking the plate.



Spryte said...

I'm not a risotto or salmon fan... but it looks good!

Bob said...

I'm not really a salmon fan myself, but I loooove risoto. I've never heard of one with marscapone before. I can only imagine that adds a delightful flavor/richness to it.

Shane T. Wingerd said...

HA HA Thanks Spryte :)

Bob - Yes, it mellows out the fish and gives it a little more depth.. :) I think the only other risotto I add mascarpone to is the Lemon one, for that very same reason. Most of the time I just add Parmegiano-Reggiano and butter, but I get a little hesitant about cheese and fish, cause I find they usually end up competing for attention. ha ha

Unknown said...

I've never had risoto before...I'm going to have to give it a try, minus the salmon :(. maybe chicken? (my answer to everything LOL)