Chef Chris Barnum-Dann’s Fluke Pan Roasted with English Pea Risotto and a Spicy Ramp Pesto
Ingredients for Pesto:
- About a ½ cup each of Ramps and basil, after blanching, shocking and rough chopping
- 1 tablespoon Garlic
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- 1 ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 Thai chili
- 1 teaspoon salt (possible more to taste)
- Approximately 1 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Ingredients for Risotto:
- 2 cups Carnaroli rice (Arborio if you can't find Carnaroli)
- 10 cups vegetable or fish stock
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/3 cup minced yellow onion
- 2 cups blanched and shocked peas - highly salt water at a rapid boil, drop for 20 seconds then plunge into ice water right away
- 3 oz good butter (pesto compound if you made some!)
- 2 oz grated Parmigiano Reggiano (optional but oh so good!!)
- 2 tablespoons garlic oil from your garlic confit (Cover desired amount of garlic cloves with oil and cook, covered at 200 in a pot until garlic is tender to the touch - around 30 – 45 minutes)
Ingredients for fish:
- 4 oz x 5 oz portions of fish (Fluke if you are on the east coast and Halibut if you are on the west)
- 2 oz of good butter (pesto compound butter if you wish - whip your soft butter with some pesto)
- Vegetable or rice oil for searing as needed
- Salt as needed
Directions for Pesto:
- Blanch and shock Ramps and basil
- Rough chop and add to blender with all remaining ingredients
- Blend until almost smooth
- Adjust lemon or salt if desired
Directions for Risotto:
- Get your stock up to a simmer
- In a heavy bottomed pot, gently sweat onions in garlic oil until translucent
- Add rice and turn up to high
- Coat rice with oil and deglaze with white wine
NEVER STOP STIRRING!! (get ready for a serious arm workout) and only stir in one direction (an old wise tale learned in Italy that actually makes a difference!)
- Once wine has been dried out, add just enough stock to cover and keep stirring. Every time the liquid is almost gone and rice starts sticking, add stock and cook back down. This will usually take around 25 minutes and a sweat inducing amount of work!
- Keep tasting - when rice is mostly soft with a nice firmness on the inside (al dente), add your butter, peas, cheese and salt.
- Taste for seasoning, add a little lemon juice!
- Serve quickly
Directions for fish:
- Cover bottom of heavy saute pan with just enough oil to coat bottom and place on high heat.
- When oil starts to whisp, lay your seasoned filets in the pan, laying fish away from you as to not splash oil on yourself! Leave alone if it sticks! It will eventually form a crust and release.
- Sear until golden brown (approximately 2 minutes) and flip over.
- Turn heat down to medium and place butter in pan.
- Tilt your pan and spoon bubbling butter/oil over fish for approximately 2 more minutes. Fish should still give a little when poked.
- Place risotto on bottom of plate, topped with your perfectly browned fish. Drizzle your pesto over and around the fish. Dress some pea tendrils in lemon juice and salt and use for garnish