I'm back from Stockholm, Sweden! I had a fun but hectic time, working as much as 17 hours a day. It's amazing how, when you're really busy, a double-shift can pass as quickly as half a shift. I got to see some gorgeous sights along the way and visit some of Stockholm's most beautiful buildings (City Hall, Grand Hotel, Concert Hall, and more). But I'm happy to be back home in Canada. And I've missed all of you and your comments and blog posts - I've got lots to catch up on!
Before I left for Sweden, I made this lemon risotto topped with salmon. The risotto is adapted from a Giada de Laurentiis appetizer recipe. It's made with rice that is simmered in chicken broth and white wine. The rice is constantly stirred while more broth is added. When the risotto is creamy and cooked al dente, lemon juice and zest, parmesan cheese, butter, and heavy cream (if using) are stirred into the mixture and a simply prepared salmon filet is sliced up and piled atop each plate of risotto.
Fish and lemon are a natural pairing, but when it's not just lemon but a creamy, rich lemon risotto, the combination is even better! Still, this risotto is fantastic with or without the salmon.
Adapted from a recipe by Giada De Laurentiis
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons olive oil
1.5 tablespoons butter
2 large shallots, diced (or half a medium onion, minced)
1.5 cups Arborio rice
3/4 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus 3 tablespoons
3 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)
3/4 a lemon, zested and juiced (the best way to do this is to juice and zest 1 whole lemon and use all but 1/4 of the juice and zest)
1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a medium saucepan bring the broth and 1 cup water to a simmer. Cover the broth and keep hot over low heat.
In a medium, heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots or onion and saute until tender but not brown. Add the rice and stir to coat with the oil. Add the wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add a ladleful of simmering broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth a ladleful at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of the broth to absorb before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, at least 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the butter, 3 tablespoons of Parmesan, heavy cream if using, the lemon zest and juice, and the salt and pepper, plus more to taste if necessary.
Serve immediately with salmon and sprinkle with remaining parmesan.
To make salmon:
This salmon is cooked very simply so that it complements but doesn't take away from the flavour of the risotto.
1 salmon fillet per person
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a splash of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Season salmon fillets on each side with salt and pepper. Add to frying pan and cook for a few minutes on each side until cooked through (light pink in colour and flaky).