A little bit of salmon goes a long way in this tasty risotto flavored with fennel.
Salmon Never Tasted So Good
I really love salmon. However, I like good salmon, such as wild-caught Alaskan. What I really don’t love is the price, which is quite high. Rather than use the farmed variety, which is less expensive, I tend to look for recipes that use salmon more as a condiment. It’s just a thing with me that I don’t care for farmed fish, but if you’re good with it, then by all means use it here too!
This is another recipe that comes from the great Mary Berry. It’s basically the same as hers but I adapted it to American measures and ingredients easily (and cheaper) found here.
You Just Gotta Stir–There’s No Substitute
There’s just no quick way with risotto. If you speed up the procedure, you won’t get that lovely creamy texture.
This is going to take you at least 20 minutes of pot watching and stirring, but the end product is well worth it.
The secret to a good risotto is hot stock ladled in a bit at a time. Then you stir constantly until almost all that liquid is absorbed, and you keep doing that until all the hot stock is gone. Rinse and repeat so to speak.
The best utensil for adding the hot stock is just a standard ladle. Most hold about 6 fluid ounces so it’s the perfect tool for the job. The stock must also be hot. Heat it almost to boiling then reduce the heat to a simmer and keep it on that low heat until the operation is complete.
Fennel Is Delicious
Try it you’ll like it! I mean that. It’s really delicious.
Fennel is also called “anise” in some parts of the country. It has a very mild anise flavor and it’s not overpowering.
If you can only find a large–meaning a baseball-sized–bulb, you use one half of the bulb. I realize it’s not an everyday veg for most people, so what I do is use the other half as a side dish sauteed in butter or raw thinly sliced in a salad.
However, if you’re not all that fond of even a mild anise flavor, then substitute a nice sweet onion–about one cup–sliced.
- 2½ cups hot chicken stock
- 2 tbs oil
- ½ fennel bulb (if large, whole bulb if small)
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 cup arborio/risotto rice
- 1¼ cup dry white wine
- ⅔ cup frozen peas
- juice of ½ lemon
- 12 oz salmon filets, thinly sliced
- 3 tbs sour cream
- 3 sprigs fresh tarragon, coarsely chopped -OR- ¼ tsp dried
- 2 tbs grated Parmesan cheese
- salt & pepper to taste
- Rinse the frozen peas to remove any frost; drain and set aside.
- Place stock in a saucepan and keep warm over a low heat.
- Pour the oil into a large skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the fennel and fry for about 4 minutes, or until softened, but not browned, stirring often. Add the garlic and rice and fry for a minute, stirring constantly, until the grains of rice are coated in the oil.
- Pour the wine into the stock, stir and bring to a gentle simmer. Add a ladleful of the hot stock mixture to the rice and simmer, stirring continuously. Wait until the stock is almost fully absorbed before adding the next ladleful. Continue to add the stock, a ladleful at a time, and cook the risotto for 15–20 minutes, or until you are left with about 8 oz stock in the saucepan and the rice is nearly cooked.
- Add the peas and lemon juice. Ladle in some of the remaining stock and keep stirring for a couple of minutes. Add the salmon slices, sour cream, tarragon and Parmesan. Stir and continue to cook until the salmon is opaque.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately, sprinkled with extra parmesan.
*Adapted from Mary Berry Yum