About the Recipe
I love fish and I rarely cooked it when the kids were around - mainly because I had one non-fish lover in the family. Now it's time to treat myself!
This is one of those recipes for people who love to cook and have a beautiful meal. For the most part, it's not complicated but to make risotto right, you really have to stay at the stove and constantly stir.
I found the sea bass at Costco, but there are plenty of varieties of white fish you can substitute if you can't find that. Here is a link to some ideas: https://foodsfate.com/sea-bass-substitutes/
My package of fish came as two pieces and I cooked them both to eat later. The package said that the fish had been previously frozen and I've heard that you shouldn't freeze meat twice. I don't know if that counts for fish, but I thought I'd follow the rule!
I will say that one of the things I like about seafood and cooking for one is that you can often find what you want in the frozen section and just use the serving size you want - like you can take half a package of shrimp and continue to freeze the rest or just one fish fillet and put the rest of the package back for later.
My sea bass still had the skin on it, which I kept because I read that there are lots of nutrients in fish skin. Next time I will likely remove the skin - it just tasted too fishy for me (nutrients be damned).
Also, if you're looking at my picture and your recipe doesn't look as "saucy" there's a simple reason for that: I originally made this recipe with a sauce, but determined it was too lemony and salty. The fish and risotto had plenty of flavor on their own.
PS - Here's how to blanch asparagus if you've never done it before. I cut mine into the 1 inch pieces before blanching: https://www.acouplecooks.com/how-to-blanch-asparagus/
1 sea bass fillet
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup of asparagus cut into 1 inch pieces and blanched*
1 Tablespoon diced shallot
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 cups hot chicken stock
1/2 c dry white wine
1/2 cu arborio rice
2 Tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste
*(I would blanch the entire bunch of asparagus and use it for a side for future meals like a fritatta!)
Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat in a medium-sized saucepan. Add arborio rice to toast about 5 minutes until it starts to look a little translucent. Add diced shallot and continue to sauté until the shallot is cooked - about 3 minutes.
Add wine and a sprinkling of salt and some freshly ground pepper. Stir until the liquid is absorbed. Add 1/2 cup of warmed chicken stock and continue until the liquid is absorbed. Keep adding chicken stock a 1/2 cup at a time and continue to stir (this is why people say risotto is high maintenance. You have to keep stirring! :)). As the rice continues to absorb the liquid it will continue to thicken. Add more chicken stock if necessary until rice is fully cooked.
Remove from heat. Stir in lemon zest, blanched asparagus, and Parmesan.
Pat sea bass dry and season with salt and pepper.
Heat remaining olive oil and butter over medium high heat. Place fish skin side down first (if your fish has skin) and cook 5 minutes. Flip fish and cook an additional 4 minutes until it flakes easily with a fork. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over fish.
What I'm Watching
Holy moly did I go down a Lost Kitchen rabbit hole this weekend! I could not stop watching. I guess there are worse things to get addicted to. It's part of the Magnolia Network which has recently been picked up by HBOMax. Watch for my postcard in April, Erin!
What I'm Reading
A friend of mine loaned me this book and I was immediately drawn in. If you've ever been interested in past lives or what might come next, I highly recommend it. There are some sections on trauma and mental health that are interesting as well. It's not a long read and very engaging.