A few weeks ago we tried some black cod and have been hooked ever since. According to the meat guy at PCC, it’s even better for you than salmon. It’s so rich and creamy that it’s rather shocking that we still had to add a butter sauce to it, but the celebration of two birthdays (Elliott’s mom and dad, Beth and Jacques) seemed like a great excuse to go big.
Even though we knew going in that Beth wasn’t a huge fan of risotto, we decided to chance it anyhow since this dish is that freaking good. We are happy to report that she went back not just for seconds, but thirds! If you have a special occasion coming up, this is the dish to wow with.
1 cup arborio rice
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
1/2 lb. mushrooms, thick slices
1/2 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine
couple sprigs of thyme
Beurre Blanc Sauce:
1/2 shallot, minced
1 cup white wine
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 stick of unsalted butter
1 tbsp. heavy cream
Heat the broth in a small pot over low heat. Add the dried porcini mushrooms to soften and flavor the broth. Meanwhile, in a heavy bottomed stock pot, add olive oil and sauté half of the onions until translucent. Add the garlic and stir for a few minutes more. Add the mushrooms and stir until they have released their juices. Add the chopped porcinis and thyme and remove from heat. Add some more olive oil to the pan and add the rest of the onions. When softened, add the rice and stir vigorously a couple of minutes until the rice becomes translucent. Deglaze with the white wine and stir until absorbed.
The key to making good risotto is to not rush the process. This is definitely not a dinner to make when you’re in a hurry! Add the broth, one ladle at a time, making sure to stir often. Once most of the liquid has absorbed, add another ladleful and repeat the process. Even though it seems counterintuitive to make rice this way, it will come out perfectly al dente in the end.
If you have any spare parmesan rinds in your fridge, toss them into the pot for some added flavor. Once all of the broth has cooked off, add the onion-mushroom mixture back into the pot and grate in some fresh parmesan cheese.
For the sauce, heat a small pan and add the wine, lemon juice, and shallots. Cook until there is only a couple of tablespoons of the liquid left and remove from heat. At this point, add the butter (well-chilled, in 1 tbsp. pieces) and cream. Be sure to add the butter first and then the cream so that the cream doesn’t separate. Also, if you’re hoping to skimp on the fat and try half-n-half instead, trust us, it doesn’t work.
For the cod, hit the fillets with some salt and pepper and fry topside first in a hot, oiled pan. Flip onto their skins and finish in a 450˚ oven. Plate the risotto first, then the cod. Top everything with the beurre blanc sauce.
We finished our meal with some proper birthday carrot cake. Here is the recipe for what became a unanimous “best carrot cake ever!”