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.
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.