Gulf Wild Red Snapper
Serves 4 to 6. Recipe is by Chris Montero, executive chef at café b in Metairie, who placed second in the seventh annual Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off on May 24.
4 to 6 (5-oz.) skin-on fresh red snapper fillets
Salt and pepper
Creole blend seasoning
Louisiana Brown Rice and Lump Crab Meat Risotto (see recipe)
Wild Mushroom Confit (see recipe)
Charred Grape Tomato Relish (see recipe)
For garnish, petite greens
1. Lightly season fish fillets with salt, pepper and Creole blend seasoning.
2. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a hot sauté pan and place the fish skin side down, searing 2-3 minutes or until the skin is lightly crisp and turn. Continue cooking 2 to 3 minutes (depending on the thickness) until fish is just cooked through.
3. Spoon the risotto onto a plate and place the fish fillet atop. Arrange mushrooms on the side and spoon tomato relish over fish and risotto. Garnish with petite greens lightly dressed with extra virgin olive oil.
Louisiana Brown Rice and Lump Crab Meat Risotto
2 tbls. unsalted butter
1 medium onion, diced (1/4-inch dice)
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup Louisiana brown jasmine rice
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
3 1/2 cups crab stock
1?8 cup sliced green onions
1 tbl. chopped parsley, finely minced
1 tbl. Parmesan cheese, grated
8 ozs. fresh jumbo, lump crab meat
1. In heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, jalapeño and garlic; sauté until soft, then add rice, salt and pepper.
2. Add a cup of stock, bring to a simmer and then cook, stirring often, until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid but is still very moist, about 15 minutes. Add another cup of stock, stir to combine and slowly simmer until liquid is again absorbed. Repeat this process until all of the stock is absorbed but risotto is still quite moist.
3. Stir in the green onion, parsley and Parmesan cheese. Lastly, gently fold in fresh jumbo lump crab meat and adjust seasoning.
Wild Mushroom Confit
3/4 lb. assorted wild mushrooms
4 cups 80?20 olive oil blend
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 1/2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 1/2 cloves garlic
Fresh ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Season mushrooms with salt and pepper. In a hotel pan, combine mushrooms with remaining ingredients, making certain that mushrooms are covered with oil. Cover with foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours, until mushrooms are very tender.
2. Transfer mushrooms to a strainer or colander, remove bay leaf, rosemary and thyme sprigs, and allow to drain. (Oil may be reserved and used for another purpose.) Serve mushrooms either warm or at room temperature.
Charred Grape Tomato Relish
1 pint grape tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, shaved
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cracked pepper
1 sprig basil
2 sprigs thyme
1 tsp. rice wine vinegar
1. Blanch and peel grape tomatoes. In a smoking hot pan, sear the flesh until slightly charred. Allow tomatoes to cool, then cut into halves.
2. Shave the garlic cloves paper thin and gently sauté over low heat in the olive oil. Remove oil from heat and combine with all the other ingredients, allowing them to marinate for at least an hour and up to 1 week refrigerated.