Glazed Turbot with Seven-grain Risotto and Herb Sauce
Seven-grain risotto, full of flavor and texture, serves as a foil for a butter-glazed turbot fillet. The seven-grain mixture may turn into five-grain or six-grain, depending on the grains you find. Health food stores are a good source for all kinds of grains; look for brown rice, buckwheat (kasha), oats, barley, quinoa, and both bulgar and cracked wheat. Chef Pucher begins with a whole turbot, trimming it into fillets and using the trimmings in his stock. Alternatively, buy prepared fillets, and substitute chicken stock or clam juice for the fish stock in the sauce.
- Whole turbot - 3 to 4-pound
- Fish Stock
- Fish bones and scraps - (above)
- Leek - 1, cleaned, white portion only, roughly chopped
- Celery Stalks - 2, roughly chopped
- Scallions - 2 small, roughly chopped
- Mushrooms - 2, roughly chopped
- Dill sprigs - 1
- Parsley Sprigs - 6
- Bay Leaf - 1
- White peppercorns - 1/2 tablespoon
- Dry white wine - 1 cup
- Water - 2 cups
- Vegetable Risotto
- Celery Root (Celeriac) - 3 large, slices
- Carrot - 1
- Leek - 1, cleaned, green portion only
- Unsalted Butter - 4 tablespoons
- Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon
- Shallots - 2, chopped
- Seven-grain mixture - 1-1/4 cups (available at health food stores)
- Dry white wine - 1/2 cup
- Vegetable Stock - 2 cups
- Pearl Onions - 3, blanched and skinned
- Parmesan cheese - 1/2 cup
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Herb Sauce
- Parsley Sprigs - 4, stemmed
- Chives - 6 to 8
- Dill sprigs - 1
- Fish stock - 1 cup (above)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
- Butter - 1 tablespoon
- Unsalted Butter - 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons)
- Dill sprigs - 4 small
To prepare the fish: Remove the head and entrails portion of the turbot by cutting them away behind the small pectoral fin and gill slit. Discard. Cut away the dorsal and tail fins; set aside. Lay the knife on its side and work it along the back and rib bones to loosen the top fillet; lay the fillet aside. Lift the backbone and ribs away from the other fillet in one piece. Skin and trim into four equal fillets. Wrap the fillets and refrigerate. Set the scraps and bones aside for the stock.
To prepare the stock: Rinse the bones under running water, then break up and put in the stockpot. Add the scraps and skin. Add the vegetables, mushrooms, herbs, and peppercorns. Cover the pan and heat over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the wine and water and bring to a boil over high heat. Skim off any foam which rises to the surface (check during cooking to see if more foam needs to be removed). Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook 30 minutes. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve into a saucepan, pressing down on the solids to extract all the juices. Return to medium-high heat and cook until reduced to about 1 cup. Strain through a sieve lined with 2 layers of cheesecloth. If not using immediately, let cool to room temperature; cover and refrigerate.
To prepare the risotto: Cut the celery root slices into thin diamond shapes. Peel the carrot, cut into thin lengthwise planks, and cut the planks into diamonds. Cut the leek into three thin strips, then cut into diamonds. Set the prepared vegetables aside. Heat half of the butter and the olive oil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and saute until softened. Add the whole grain mixture and stir until well coated; the grain mixture may "snap" a little as it heats. Reduce the heat to medium. Swirl in the wine and reduce until absorbed, stirring constantly. Add enough vegetable stock to cover the grains and reduce again, stirring. Continue adding a little stock at a time and stirring as it is absorbed and reduced until all the stock has been added and the mixture is creamy. The total cooking time will be about 25 minutes. About 10 minutes into the cooking, add the prepared celeriac and carrots to the risotto; about 20 minutes into the cooking, add the leek. Set aside; keep warm.
To prepare the sauce: Mince the herbs together. Bring the cup of stock to a low boil and adjust seasoning with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Stir in the butter with a whisk, then stir in the chopped herbs.
To prepare the fish: Melt the butter in a large cast iron saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the turbot fillets and saute 2 to 3 minutes per side, depending on thickness; turn and saute another 2 to 3 minutes on the other side, until the fillets are golden and the fish is opaque throughout.
To serve: Stir the butter and Parmesan cheese into the risotto to finish it; adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Mound risotto in the center of each deep soup plate. Lay a slice of turbot on the bed of risotto. Drizzle herb sauce around the fish and risotto; garnish the top of each fish with a sprig of dill.