Recently at a restaurant, we had a most lovely sun dried tomato curry risotto.  Since we were having fresh spring salmon with fresh pesto, I decided to change the curry to fresh pesto.  It was delicious.  In this risotto, I did not have white wine, so used an Organic Balsamic Vinegar.  It might be the way I make risotto from now on, as it gave a delicious tang to the risotto that probably would not be there with white wine.  However, either would be delicious - your preference.  Why not give it a try....what is your preference:  white wine or organic balsamic vinegar?
On another note, I have a fish story to tell.  This is a true phoney fish tales told here.
My lovely Dtr. works at the Victoria Airport.  One day, a gentleman arrived with a very large cooler of fresh salmon:  Spring, Coho, and Sockeye.   It was wrapped in plastic, and covered in ice.  He had been in our neck of the woods in Sooke on a fishing charter, having arrived from Fort McMurray, Alberta.  Now it was time for him to return home with his fresh fish.
However, fresh fish can not be transported via airplane in this fashion.  It must be flash frozen and properly packaged.  My dtr. told the gentleman, "I am sorry sir, but we can not accept this for transport, it must be flash frozen". " You will have to leave it behind".  How devastating is that???  If it were me I would have cried.  But at the same time, I certainly would have done some research before commencing on a fishing charter in B.C.
In any event, the gentleman left the cooler on the sidewalk of the airport and boarded his airplane home to Fort McMurray.  Within minutes there was an announcement over the PA: "would someone who owns the large cooler on the sidewalk please claim it".  My dtr. said:  "I know what that is....I will go get it"!
Well, she ended up sharing the cooler full of fresh fish with two other ladies she works with, and then brought the cooler of fresh fish back to me.   Inside was:  2 large Sockeye Fillets, 4 large Spring Fillets, 2 large White Spring Fillets, and 2 large Coho Salmon Filets.  As sorry as I was for the gentleman from Fort McMurray, I was one happy girl.... doing the happy dance in my kitchen that night, now with a freezer full of fresh salmon.  Some of the fish I cut up into good sized portions, as they were pretty large.  I also shared some of the fish with my son and sister.   So I say a heart felt thank you to the gentleman from Fort McMurray -  your fish did not go to waste...we are loving your beautiful fresh salmon!  🙂
Now for a lovely risotto:
2 shallots or 1/2 an onion, finely chopped
2 large garlic, finely minced
1 Tblsp. Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Tblsp. butter
salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
1 cup risotto
5 cups of chicken stock
5 sun dried tomatoes, in oil, finely chopped
2 1/2 Tblsp. Organic Balsamic Vinegar
4 heaping Tblsp. fresh Pesto
2 good handfuls of grated Parmesan Cheese
grated Asiago Cheese for the top
Heat up a medium sized pan with the butter and extra virgin olive oil.  Also, heat up the chicken stock to a boil, then turn down to a low simmer.
Once the EVOO and butter is melted, add in the shallots and garlic.  Saute, season with salt and fresh cracked pepper.  Saute until translucent.
Then add in the risotto, stirring to coat for about 1-2 minutes. Add in the finely chopped sun dried tomatoes, and pour in the balsamic vinegar....step back while stirring - it sure burns the eyes!!  Stir for one more minute.  Add 1 ladle full of chicken stock, stirring.  Allow to sit and simmer for a bit.  Continue to add a ladle full of chicken stock at a time, stirring in between, and allowing the rice to absorb the chicken stock before adding another ladle of chicken stock.

This process should take about 30-40 minutes or so....eventually the rice will puff up to a soft creamy texture.
Add in the pesto, stirring well to combine.  Remove from the heat, and add in the Parmesan cheese, stirring well.  Plate and serve with fresh grated Asiago Cheese.  Serve along side any main dish.

Ina Gawne


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September 15, 2014