Pan Seared Grouper with
Shiitake Mushroom Risotto
8 Grouper Filets (or other meaty, flaky fish like Snapper)
8 cups Chicken Stock
6 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion, finely chopped
4 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
4 Springs Fresh Thyme
1 cup Dry White Wine
2 cups Shiitake Mushrooms, quartered
2 cups Arborio Rice
1 large Shallot, finely chopped
2 oz. Mascarpone Cheese
5 tbsp. Unsalted Butter, cut into pieces
¼ cup Chives, chopped
1 ¾ cups finely grated Parmesan, divided
Red Wine Vinegar, a splash
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Place chicken stock in a medium stockpot. Bring to a very bare simmer over medium heat.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium. Cook onions, garlic and a pinch of salt, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent and starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add thyme and sauté so the herb becomes aromatic.
Add rice and stir well to coat with oil. Cook, stirring constantly, until grains of rice are translucent around the edges and they make a glassy clattering sound when they hit the sides and bottom of pot, about 5 minutes. Coating the grains with oil before adding any liquid helps the rice cook evenly so that the outside does not become mushy before the center is tender. Add wine and another pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until wine is completely evaporated, about 2 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium, then add chicken stock to rice in ¾-cup increments, stirring constantly and allowing liquid to absorb fully before adding more, until rice is al dente and surrounded by fluid, not-too-thick creamy suspension, 25–30 minutes. It should take 2–3 minutes for each addition to be absorbed; if things are moving faster than this, reduce heat to medium-low. Gradual absorption and constant agitation are key to encouraging the starches to release from the risotto, creating its trademark creamy consistency. You may not need all of the chicken stock, but err on the side of soup rather than sludge. The finished texture should be more of a liquid than a solid. Start checking the rice after about 15 minutes; the grains should be tender but not mushy, with a slightly firm center that doesn’t leave a chalky or gritty residue between your teeth after tasting.
In another sauce pot, heat some olive oil over medium heat. Add shiitake mushrooms and a little salt; sauté until they release most of the moisture and begin to caramelize. At this point, add the shallots. Add a little more salt and cook about 3 minutes until softened. Add a ladle of chicken stock to deglaze the pan, then add the risotto.
Remove pot from heat, add butter, and stir until melted. Add the mascarpone cheese, and gradually add 1¼ cups Parmesan, stirring until cheese is melted and liquid surrounding risotto is creamy but very fluid. Add a touch of red wine vinegar to give the dish a little acid. Stir in more hot chicken stock if needed to achieve the right consistency. Add chopped chives. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
In a sauté pan, heat oil over medium high heat until it just begins to ripple. Lightly coat the grouper filets with olive oil, then season both sides with salt and pepper. Place grouper in pan and cook until it caramelizes, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and finish cooking for another 2-3 minutes.
To plate, pile risotto in center of the plate. Place grouper on top. Garnish with micro greens.