This recipe originally appeared in The News & Observer’s monthly Specialty of the House column in December 2016. Specialty of the House gets recipes for local restaurant dishes. Send requests, including your city, to Specialty of the House, The N&O, P.O. Box 191, Raleigh, N.C. 27602; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
3 tablespoons sliced chives, divided
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 (6-ounce) pieces of white fish
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/4 cups cooked risotto (recipe below)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Heat oven to 325 degrees.
Toss halved cherry tomatoes with vinaigrette and set aside.
Combine panko, salt, pepper, parsley, basil and 2 tablespoons of chives in a food processor and process for 1 minute. Do not over process. Set aside.
Heat butter and oil in a large ovenproof saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat.
Place buttermilk in a shallow bowl. Place herbed panko breadcrumbs in another shallow bowl. Dip the fish fillets in the buttermilk and then press the top side of each fillet into the breadcrumbs. Press to make sure the crumbs stick.
Place fish, crust-side down, in the skillet and saute for 2 to 3 minutes until lightly brown. Flip fish over and finish in the oven for 4 to 5 minutes.
In another saute pan, place risotto, cream and cheese. Heat over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide risotto among four plates and top each with a piece of fish. Divide cherry tomatoes among the four plates. Garnish with remaining 1 tablespoon sliced chives and drizzle with any remaining juice from tomatoes.
Yield: 4 servings
2 teaspoons chicken base
2 1/2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil blend
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 sprig thyme
3/4 cup Arborio rice
Dissolve chicken base in warm water. Set aside.
Add olive oil to a medium skillet or saute pan over medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until slightly brown. Add thyme and cook for 1 minute but do not burn.
Add arborio rice and stir and cook until the edges have turned translucent but the center is still opaque, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and continue to cook until the rice is al dente, stirring frequently, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings