Savour the delicious versatility of risotto with this fantastic variation prepared with roasted red peppers.
Place the saffron (for the risotto) and white wine in a small pan and simmer over a high heat for 2 minutes until reduced. Remove from the heat and set aside to infuse for 20-30 minutes. Bring the fish stock for the risotto to a simmer in a medium pan and use 2 teaspoons of this to soak the saffron (for the cream) in for 20 minutes.
Next, preheat a grill to high and grill the pepper, turning occasionally until well blackened and blistering all over. Place the pepper in a bowl and cover with cling film, setting aside for 10-15 minutes. Peel the skin off, it should come away easily. Cut the flesh into a fine dice, discarding the seeds and reserve.
In the meantime, start on the risotto. Heat the oil in a large heavy pan and soften the shallots and leek for 2-3 minutes without colouring. Add the rice and stir well to coat in oil, allowing to cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the remaining warm fish stock to the rice a ladleful at a time, leaving it to be absorbed before adding another. This should take about 25 minutes. Add the infused wine and saffron during this time also.
While the risotto is cooking, stir the saffron and fish stock infusion through the crème fraîche until well combined. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
Also, prepare the parmesan crisps. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F / Gas Mark 4). Place a pastry cutter or chefs ring on a non-stick baking tray and sprinkle a quarter of the parmesan inside. Gently remove the cutter and repeat to give four in total. Place in the oven for 4-5 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden. Working quickly, remove the tray from the oven and lift each disc off, immediately twisting into the desired shape. Within seconds the parmesan will crisp up in the given shape.
When the risotto is cooked the rice should be just tender and almost all of the liquid absorbed. Stir the reserved diced red pepper through carefully and then the butter and chives. Season to taste and then remove from the heat Leave to rest while you fry the fish.
Season the red mullet fillets well on both sides. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry the fillets, skin-side down first, for 2-3 minutes each side.
Serve a spoonful of risotto in the centre of each plate. Arrange two red mullet fillets on top. Garnish with a spoonful of saffron cream. Top with the basil and scatter black olives around.
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