Pan seared Gurnard with Seafood and Tuscan Olive Risotto

Pesce con risotto ai frutti di mare is one of my favourite dishes.  It is also very versatile – use your favourite fish and change the seafood in the risotto to suit whatever you have to hand.  Try with snapper, tarakihi, hapuku or kingfish.  Serves 4

Chef:  Steve Roberts

  •  1.25 litres good-quality fish stock – we recommend Foundation Foods
  • 12 live clams or cockles
  • 8 prawns, shelled and de-veined
  • 8 scallops, cleaned
  • 8 live mussels, cleaned and beards removed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ onion, finely sliced
  • 500g Arborio rice
  • 250 ml white wine
  • 50g selection fresh herbs, chopped (I use Italian parsley and basil)
  • 40g sliced Kalamata olives
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 x 150g gurnard fillets
  • 100g mixed herbs or micro leaves

Lime halves – caramelised (cut limes in half and dip cut side in white sugar.  Place a frying-pan on a medium heat.  Add lime halves cut-side down to the dry frying-pan and cook quickly until golden.)

  1. Preheat oven to 180º C
  2. Place fish stock in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer.  Individually poach all the seafood, excluding fish, and set aside.  Strain stock and set aside until required.
  3. Place a large saucepan on a medium heat, add oil and gently sweat garlic and onion without colouring.  Add rice and coat with the onion and garlic mix, then deglaze with white wine.  Simmer for approximately 3-5 minutes, reducing the liquid until it is almost gone.
  4. Slowly add stock to the rice, gently and continually stirring as it cooks, adding more liquid as the mixture requires it until the rice is al dente (cooked but firm to the bite) and the risotto is fairly sloppy.  Add seafood to the risotto to reheat.  Add fresh herbs and olives also.
  5. Season gurnard fillets with salt and pepper.
  6. Place a frying-pan on a high heat and add oil.  Sear fish fillets on both sides, transfer to a baking dish and place in the oven for a few minutes or until cooked through.  Thicker fillets will need longer cooking time.

To serve, arrange risotto in the centre of each bowl, place fish on top and drizzle with a little olive oil.  Garnish with herb salad and lime halves.


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