Curry Swordfish and Portobello Mushroom Risotto

Chef Gordon Ramsey is a man you either love or hate. Truthfully, I think he’s awesome. I appreciate the passion he has for a well-made meal and the compassion that runs very subtly underneath all of the yelling and cursing and throwing of kitchenware. Oddly enough, when I come across his name or one of his gazillion shows, my first thought is not the brazen exterior he shares with the world. It is risotto.

Making risotto has always intimidated me. Perhaps it is because every time I imagined myself making the dish, I’d hear Chef Ramsey’s demands for an ETA littered with an amount of four-letter words I never knew could be uttered in one breath. There is also the process of making risotto that is about as labor-intensive as you can get for a dish. What I found after my first attempt at it was how much facing my fears and stirring a pan for almost 30 minutes was worth the effort.

Curry Swordfish and Portobello Mushroom Risotto is my answer to all of those risottos that tend to have shellfish in them. With only the fish harboring the flavor of the curry, the dish carries multiple notes that your tastebuds will have the greatest of pleasures exploring. It is a hearty yet elegant dish that will put a smile on the faces of those you share it with, including Chef Ramsey himself! (maybe) 😉

Curry Swordfish & Portobello Mushroom Risotto

(recipe serving size – 3-4 people)

For the swordfish:

1 swordfish steak (roughly 2/3 lb)

1 tsp curry powder

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp cracked black pepper

1/4 tsp oregano

1 tb olive oil

Coat the swordfish with the olive oil and spices. Wrap the fish in plastic and place it in the fridge to let the flavors permeate the fish (30 minutes to overnight if you have the time).

For the mushrooms:

6 oz sliced portobello mushrooms, 1/2 inch thick

1 tb olive oil

1 tb butter

1 tsp cracked black pepper

1/2 tsp kosher salt

Melt the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, coating the bottom of the pan completely. Place the mushrooms into the pan, making sure not to crowd. Cook on the first side for 5 minutes. Turn mushrooms over, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook for another 5 minutes.  Remove the mushrooms from the pan. Once cool enough to handle, chop each mushroom slice into 2-3 pieces, leaving them in large 1-inch chunks.

Special note: If you have to cook the mushrooms in batches, repeat the process above. For each batch, use only 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper and 1/4 tsp of kosher salt. Replenish the oil and butter between rounds.

Cooking the swordfish:

1 swordfish steak, seasoned

1 tb olive oil

Coat the same pan you prepared the mushrooms in with the olive oil. Raise heat slightly and sear the fish 3-5 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness, until the fish is cooked through. Remove the fish from the pan. Once cool enough to handle, break the fish apart with your fingers into bite-sized chunks.

For the risotto:

1 cup arborio rice (used for risotto)

3 1/2 cups chicken stock or broth

1 small red onion, diced (roughly 1/2 cup)

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 cup creme fraiche, plus extra for garnish

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 1/2 tb chopped cilantro, plus extra for garnish

1 tsp chopped basil, plus a few extra leaves for garnish

1/8 tsp cracked black pepper

1/8 tsp kosher salt

1 tb butter

1 tb olive oil

Over medium heat, sauté onions in butter and olive oil for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add the rice and stir to combine it with the onions, butter and olive oil, about 1-2 minutes.

Bring the heat down slightly to medium-low and begin ladling the stock into the pan, 1 cup at a time. Stir regularly until the first cup of stock has been absorbed. Add the second and continue to stir. Repeat until all of the stock is used and the rice is tender (roughly 25 minutes).

During the last ladling, add the creme fraiche, cilantro, basil and parmesan. Drop in the pieces of fish and mushrooms and continue to simmer for another 1-2 minutes.

Bringing it all together:

If preparing individual servings, ladle 1/4 of the risotto into a shallow bowl. Sprinkle some chopped parsley and basil on top along with a dollop of creme fraiche.

If you are serving this family style, use the pan you prepared the risotto in as your serving dish. Sprinkle chopped parsley and basil across the top. Add a bundle of basil leaves in the center for presentation. Have extra creme fraiche on hand for those that may want to dollop a little onto their individual helpings and enjoy!

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