Sunday, April 28, 2013

Lou's Most Excellent Cod n' Chile Pepper Risotto

[Yes, it’s been awhile….]

A great, fairly fast (comes together in about 45 minutes) dish that does a Sunday good. I've done some variations of this using diced carrots in place of the asparagus. But asparagus is everywhere this time of year so here goes...

4 cod filets
1 cup of risotto
4 cups chicken broth
3 thick slices of pancetta, julienned
1 small yellow onion, mined
2 cloves garlic, sliced very thin
3 large asparagus spears, diced into 1 cm pieces
1 green onion, green parts only, julienned
2 TBS diced chile peppers (Hatch-style)
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Olive oil
1 TBS unsalted butter
Smoked paprika
Salt and pepper

Boil the chicken broth and set aside.

In a pot suitable for making risotto (everyone has a risotto pot, right?), over medium heat add in 2 TBS of olive oil and the butter; heat until melted. Add in the yellow onion and garlic and sauté until translucent, about three minutes while trying not to burn it.

In a separate small pan, add in 1 TBS of olive oil over medium heat. Sauté up the pancetta until it’s crispy. Remove and set aside the pancetta, reserving the oil and then sauté the asparagus for about two minutes in the pancetta oil. Remove the asparagus and cover.

Lightly coat the cod filets in paprika and a generous pinch of salt.  Set aside but be ready for it.

Back to the risotto…. Add in the risotto to the pot and stir over medium heat for about 2 minutes, then add in about 1 cup of the broth: it should begin to boil quickly. Stir in the chile peppers and about ½ tsp of salt. Continue to stir until the rice has adsorbed most of the broth, then add another cup of broth. Repeat this process up to the third addition and then taste the risotto: it should be a little crunchy like al dente pasta. If not, add in more broth.

In another pan add about 2 TSP of olive oil and heat to medium. Cook the cod filets until you think they’re done. For a 1.5” (3 cm) thick piece of cod this could be about 1.5 minutes per side.

When the risotto is nearly done, add in the asparagus and green onion. Stir for about a minute and then add in the Parmesan cheese.

Serve the cod on top of some risotto and sprinkle the pancetta over the top. Voila…