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Recipe: Bacon WrappedMarlin with MushroomRisotto

April 17th, 2012

Yesterday was a rough day for me. Mom is slipping back a bit, and has had increasing problems keeping food down. It’s impossible to not worry, and it’s impossible for me to do anything to help from here, aside from providing what emotional support I can offer. By the time I got home, I was tired, frustrated, and needing something to take my mind off of the stress for a bit.

I could have reheated something, or just thrown something on the grill, but I wanted to spend a bit of time working some culinary alchemy, spend a bit of time experimenting in the kitchen. Here’s what I came up with. And it was DELICIOUS. Enjoy!

I chose to both cook with and serve a Sonoma-Cutter Chardonnay. The rich buttery-ness of the wine stood up really well to the hearty grilled fish and creamy risotto.

If you’ve never made risotto before because you were scared of the difficulty, don’t be. It’s not difficult and it’s not all that time consuming. You do need to keep an eye on things, and stir frequently. But the resulting rich and creamy dish is out of this world, and is great for both a side dish and a simple entree.

Bacon-Wrapped Marlin Steak
Ingredients for 1

  • Marlin (or other firm fish) steak, approximately 1″ thick
  • 3 strips thick-cut, applewood smoked bacon
  • Italian seasoning or dried basil, oregano, rosemary, salt and pepper

Preheat the grill to 500.

Generously season the marlin steak and wrap with the bacon. Secure by pushing toothpicks all the way through the side of the fish. Grill over direct heat for approximately 4 minutes on each side. You’ll get a few flare-ups because of the bacon grease, so keep an eye on things. The bacon should be reasonably crisp and the fish will be cooked all the way through.

Mushroom Risotto
Ingredients for 4 generous servings

  • 1 1/2 C arborio rice
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced and split into half
  • 4oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 C chardonnay
  • 5-6 C chicken broth or stock.
  • 1/2 C good quality aged parmesan, shredded
  • pinch saffron
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T butter
  • Salt, pepper

In a sautee pan, heat the butter. Add half of the diced onion and season with salt and pepper as desired. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook over medium-low heat until the mushrooms release their juices and soften – approximately 10 minutes. Turn heat to lowest setting to keep warm.

In a small sauce pot, heat the broth until boiling. Turn to low and cover to keep hot.

Meanwhile, in a large sauce pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.

Add the other half of the diced onion, and again season. Stir to coat and cook for approximately 5 minutes, or until the onion bits are translucent and soft. Add the rice and cook for 1 minute more.

Crumble the saffron into the wine and add both to the rice mixture. Cook, stirring continuously, until the liquid is almost entirely dissolved into the rice.

Here’s the fun part.

1/2 C at a time, add the hot broth into the rice, stirring frequently, and waiting until the liquid has dissolved before adding more. This process takes about 20 minutes. After 15, begin to try the rice to test for done-ness.

After the risotto is thick and creamy and fully cooked, stir in the mushrooms and the parmesan. Season with salt and pepper as desired.

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3 Responses to “Recipe: Bacon Wrapped Marlin with Mushroom Risotto”

  1. Emma Says:

    Looks yummy! now..to get to the grocery store!

    Hope your mom gets better quickly! Em

  2. AmeliesMama Says:

    Sounds delicious!! I’ve always shied away from risotto as it looked complicated but your instructions make it seem very simple! Might give it a try! Go gently x

  3. Alice Twain Says:

    A couple suggestions on making risotto. The rice must be thoroughly tosted before adding the wine, so do not leave it just for a minute, just stir it in the hot fat until it turns translucent, nearly transparent. It’s this tosting process that makes it stand perfectly the cooking, indeed it’s a light parbolization that creates a thin tough layer on the rice grains that keps them from getting too done in a gentle way. Once the rice has been properly tosted. add the wine and stir just once to let the liquid fall to the bottom of thepot, then lower the heat (if you cook on electric plates, lower the heat a bit earlier) and let it evaporate until the smell changes from sour and winey to very mellow making sure you DO NOT STIR. Now it’s the time to add the stock: don’t add it a bit at a time stirring, this breakks the rice tough layer and makes it too soft on the outside and not perfectly cooked on the inside. Add all of the stock at once, making sure that the rice is completely submerged, stir once so that the stock reaches the bottom, and let it simmer away without touching the pan. Let me say this again DO NOT STIR. if you see that too much of the stock has evaporated, add some more, stir once and let it simmer. The stock will also prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan. The rice is done when it’s al dente and “all’onda”, which means “wavy”: when you shake the pan it should slosh around. This is when you turn off the heat (if you use electricity, remove the pan from the plate) add butter, cheese and stir vigorously for a couple of minutes: this makes the tough layer on the rice break and the rice releases its starch at the right moment, when the fire is out and the rice does not risk to stick and burn and when the starch can mix with the tiny amount of liquid left, the fats in the cheese and in the butter, and turn the sloshy risotto into a prefectly creamy one. And with much less effort (while the rice cooks you can do other stuff!). As an Italian (I mean, like in citizen of Italy, not like in my grand-grand parents used to be Italian) I would not serve the rice as a side to a fish or meat dish, I would have rather served it as a first course (the same amount you served) and I wold have served that lovely-looking fish as a second course (with some vegetables as a side), but this is purely out of local habits.

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