Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Salmon and Kale on Pea Risotto- With Music for Cooking

Here's another take on the salmon for one meal.  While this takes a little bit of time (risotto isn't as time-consuming as people make out, though), it's worth it as the leftover risotto is then lunch and perhaps a risotto cake in a day or two.  If you make extra kale, you can use it for snacks as this version is light, oniony, and crispy with a good dose of salt and pepper.  Try this:

salmon and kale on pea risotto

Solo cook's note: You'll begin with the risotto, sear the salmon briefly (it will continue cooking as it rests), and when the risotto is about half-done, you'll start the kale.   Have the kale and salmon prepped and pans ready while you make the risotto, so you don't  have to stop, get things ready, and ignore the risotto.  You'll need onion for the risotto, the kale, and for garnish, so go ahead and chop 1 medium onion when you make the risotto.  If you'd like to make an extra piece of salmon for salad or scrambled eggs, that works fine.

Risotto can, by the way, be ignored a little bit; it doesn't require absolute and constant attention or stirring.  If you like the risotto technique, it's a great dish for using up leftovers (think chopped cooked asparagus, mushrooms, bacon, butternut or other squash, etc.).

While you're making it is a fine time for dreaming, listening to a favorite tune or two (I include a few links I like), or chatting on the phone with an old friend. It can take 30 minutes or more, depending on all the variables like pan weight, heat, etc.  You can't really rush it or you'll have crunchy, mushy mess.  Some things are worth waiting for; risotto is one of them.

Van Morrison:  Someone Like You 

for the risotto...
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (1/4 cup for risotto, rest for kale and garnish)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced 
  • 1 cup arborio  rice 
  • 1/4 teaspoon each kosher salt and fresh ground white pepper (can sub black)
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 4-5 cups chicken stock, hot (keep hot in another pot until risotto is done)
  • 1 cup green peas (unthawed if frozen)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
1. In a heavy-bottomed medium pan (I like 3 1/2 - 4 quarts), melt the butter over medium heat.  Add 1/4 cup (only) onion and cook 2-3 minutes before adding garlic.  Cook 2 minutes and stir in rice, making sure all the grains of rice are well-coated with butter.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Let cook one more minute and add the wine, cooking until wine is absorbed.
2.  Dip out two ladles of the hot chicken stock into the rice.  Let cook, stirring occasionally, until stock is absorbed.  Repeat several times until rice is al dente (just a little resistance in it when bitten into), adding peas in before the last addition of stock.  (Test the rice toward the end until it's done to your liking.)
3.  Stir in Parmesan.  Taste and adjust for seasonings.  Stir in a little more stock (not wine) if the rice is too thick; the goal is creamy and somewhat loose--not sticky.  Sticky, though, is still edible.

Antonio Banderas...As Guido in "Nine"    --- Guido's Song       (Lyrics here.)

 for the salmon...

           Start the salmon about half-way through the risotto.  Or, if you'd rather--cook it just ahead of the risotto and set aside.  You can eat it at room temperature.

 4-6 ounce salmon filet, drizzled-both sides-with olive oil and seasoned with a sprinkling of salt and pepper

 Heat a small, heavy skillet or grill over high heat.  When hot, add salmon skin-side down.  Let cook 1-2 minutes.  Remove from heat and cover.  The salmon will continue to cook on its own and will be cooked by the time the risotto's finished.  Check it a time or two; it should be moist, but firm when it's done.

Randall Thompson's Alleluia

for the kale...

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Pinch each crushed red pepper and Herbes de Provence (or another herb you like)
  • 2 cup kale, cut into small pieces or shredded
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion (from the onion you chopped for risotto)
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

1. In a large, deep skillet over medium flame, heat oil with red pepper and herbs for a minute or until fragrant.  Add kale and onions; sprinkle with a pinch each salt and pepper.  Let cook, stirring, for 10-15 minutes (maybe more) until kale is crispy-done to taste.  Adjust seasonings before serving.
Paul McCartney, Natalie Portman, Johnny Depp  My Valentine 

to assemble...

  • drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced onion (from the onion you chopped for risotto)
  • fresh ground black pepper 
  • 1/4 fresh lemon 

Place a scoop (1/2 - 1 cup) of risotto in a pasta bowl or on a plate. Top with salmon.  Surround with kale.  Drizzle salmon with olive oil and top with onion.  Squeeze lemon over all.

Alton Brown Risotto Video--He Doesn't Make it Exactly Like Me!

Make Risotto Cakes

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Joni Mitchell, Woodstock
Train, 50 Ways to Say Goodbye

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What's on More Time at the Table today:  Fennel-Leek Soup with Walnut Pesto


Upcoming on More Time:  Tangletown Wild Rice Soup 

Have fun cooking and taking care of yourself,

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