Roasted Fennel Risotto
with Orange and Fried Parsley Served with Seared Sea Scallops
2 fennel bulbs cut into half-inch strips, fronds removed
1 T orange zest
4 T extra virgin olive oil
2 shallots, minced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
5 cups chicken stock
1 cup fruity white wine
4 T unsalted butter
1/2 cup Parmigiano cheese
1/2 cup parsley stalks with leaves intact (plus 1 cup vegetable oil)
4 navel oranges
20 fresh sea scallops (plus 2 T vegetable oil)
Freshly ground black pepper
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a bowl toss fennel with 2 tablesppons olive oil and some salt and pepper. Place fennel on a baking sheet and bake approximately 10 to 15 minutes, or until it begins to caramelize. (A little brown around the edges is good and adds flavor). Remove from oven and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat chicken stock, and keep it simmering while you prepare the risotto.
In a large, heavy bottom saucepan, heat remaining olive oil and add shallots. Stir. Cook until shallots are soft and translucent. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains completely, about 2 minutes.
Add the wine and continue to stir until the wine has completely evaporated. Add a dash of salt and pepper, and the orange zest.
Now add the stock, one ladle at a time. Cook, stirring constantly, until rice has absorbed most of the stock. Then add another ladle full. (Remember to stir constantly.) Continue this until rice is almost tender, yet still firm to the bite. Season to taste. Add the fennel to the pot near the end of the procedure. Then stir in the butter and cheese. Top with the orange supremes (see below) and parsley. Risotto should have a creamy consistency, almost like porridge.
Remove the peel and pith from the oranges, then cut flesh from the membranes, keeping only the meat of the fruit. Place in a bowl and lightly season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
To Deep Fry Parsley
Clean and dry parsley thoroughly. Heat about a cup of vegetable oil in a small saucepan. Once hot, throw in the parsley and step back. It will fry quickly (10 seconds at the most). Remove parsley to a paper towel to drain. Set aside.
To Sear The Scallops
Pat scallops dry with a paper towel and season generously with salt and pepper. In a sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium high heat. Once oil is hot, add the scallops in two batches. Cook until a nice golden crust develops (approximately 5 minutes). Turn and repeat. Do not overcook or scallops will become rubbery and lose flavor. Remove and set aside, keeping the scallops warm. Repeat with the second batch. To serve, arrange around a base of risotto.
Smoked Trout "Bisque" Amandine
Flavored with Orange Oil
2 T butter
1 yellow onion, diced
2 small carrots, diced
2 large smoked trout filets
4 cups vegetable stock
2 T fresh dill, chopped
2 cups heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup almond slivers
Orange infused olive oil
Heat butter in a soup pan. Add onions and carrots. Season generously. Allow vegetables to cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally 10 minutes or until they begin to caramelize. Reduce heat and add the stock.
Meanwhile, remove skins from filets. Cut or tear the meat into pieces, leaving skin intact. Add the dill, meat and skin to the stock, and allow to simmer for 20 minutes to infuse some flavor.
While the soup is simmering, put a small, dry, sauté pan over medium heat. Add the almond slivers, shaking the pan constantly so they don't burn. Toast lightly and set aside.
After soup has simmered 20 minutes, remove and discard the skins. Allow soup to cool a bit, then puree in a blender or food processor. (If using a blender, be sure to cover the top with a kitchen towel to avoid accidents).
Return the soup to a low flame. Add cream and stir. Taste for seasoning. (Do not over-salt.)
To serve, ladle soup into a shallow bowl. Top with approximately one teaspoon of orange-infused oil and some slivered almonds. You may also want to reserve some chopped dill to top the dish as well.