Well, I wasn't sure I could get my hubby to eat this dish. I was going out on the ledge with so many vegetables! And I simply didn't think he would be OK with the anchovy dressing.
But eat it he did! AND he enjoyed it...
Confession time: I may or may not have told him what the sauce was called before he ate it. OK, I did tell him... and he wasn't as weirded out by it as I thought he'd be. Then I broke it to him that there are anchovies in a classic caesar salad dressing.
Starting with the risotto... thank you Mario Batali for giving me a recipe to start with. I'll be tweaking it a little in the future. Hope you don't mind...
I've been waiting to make this risotto ever since I bought saffron. And I'd been waiting to buy saffron ever since I ate at CinCin! in Poway, California. It was there that we enjoyed an appetizer that was my inspiration.
So come with me on a journey... and every journey begins with the first step.
Here is the first step... sweating the onions.
Then I added the saffron to the hot chicken stock so it would infuse the flavor nicely.
Next add the arborio rice to the onion and oil, stirring well to make sure all of the grains are coated with oil. Let the rice toast up for several minutes...
... add a little wine, a good dry white wine. The wine will evaporate pretty quickly but leave behind a really great flavor.
Then the process of ladling starts. And get ready for some stirring...
Look at that color! I can't wait to eat this!
Keep ladling... one ladle at a time...
Yes, just keep stirring...
To break up the monotony a little I'll take a break and get the veggies started. Tonight I'm grilling these in my panini pan. But first I tossed them in a little bit of olive oil and kosher salt.
AAAANNNNND... we're back to ladling and stirring...
And more ladling and stirring... I know that my persistence will eventually pay off! I just know it...
In the meantime, it was time to start the mahi mahi. I sauteed it in just a little bit of oil and butter, seasoned with some kosher salt.
After checking the risotto, giving it a taste and checking for doneness, I put the final touches on the risotto (nothing like a lil' butter and parmesan to top it all off!).
Still stirring... but almost done.
...and then it was ready!
And this is where the anchovy dressing comes into the picture. It will get ladled over the fish once it's all plated up.
Can I have another piece of mahi mahi now?! That dressing is so darn GOOD!!!
Saffron Risotto aka Risotto Milanese
Recipe courtesy Mario Batali
1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, cut into ¼” dice
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
2 cups chicken stock, hot
1 cups arborio rice
1/4 cup white wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for sprinkling
In a 12-14" skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and translucent but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile add the saffron to the stock, stirring to infuse. Once the onions are translucent add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon until toasted and opaque, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the wine to the toasting rice, and then add a 4-6 ounce ladle of the saffron-infused stock and cook, stirring, until it is absorbed. Continue adding the stock a ladle at a time, waiting until the liquid is absorbed before adding more. Cook until the rice is tender and creamy and yet still a little al dente, about 15 minutes. Stir in the butter and cheese until well mixed. Serve as desired... makes two "healthy" portions.