Herb-Crusted Golden Tilefish with Lemon-Leek Risotto

We had some GORGEOUS Golden Tilefish come into the store last week.  I could not resist them… their tastiness is topped only by their stunning appearance.  Even though they are a little goofy-looking, it is one of the only fish I can think of that retains its beautiful markings and coloration even after it is harvested.  The taste and texture of Tilefish is fairly similar to Grouper.  If Tilefish isn’t available where you live, you could easily substitute Cod, Grouper, or any other mild flaky fish in this recipe.  Salmon would even work!

We started with a basic risotto recipe and jazzed it up with leeks and lemon.  We were lucky enough to come across some Meyer lemons in the grocery store and they added a really nice touch.  Risotto is a labor of love.  It really isn’t labor-intensive, it just requires a little bit of patience and you definitely have to pay attention to it.  Adding the liquid in stages develops the starches and creates a creamy sauce.

Lemon-Leek Risotto

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3/4 cup Arborio rice
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock (low sodium)
  • 1/2 cup grated or shaved parmesan cheese
  • zest and juice of one half lemon (we used the juice of a whole Meyer lemon since they are slightly milder)

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In a heavy-bottom pan, melt butter over medium heat.  (Meanwhile, keep the chicken or vegetable stock hot in a pan on another burner.)  Add leeks and shallots and sauté until soft, around 3 – 5 minutes.  Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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Add the wine and stir until the wine is absorbed by the rice.  Raise the heat to medium-high and add one cup of heated stock to the rice.   Stir frequently until the broth is absorbed.  Repeat this process until you have used all the broth, making sure the broth is absorbed before each addition.  The rice will be al denté and creamy.  Stir in the parmesan, lemon zest, and lemon juice at the end.  This is best when served immediately.  Alternately, you could cover it and set it aside until you are ready to use it.  You may need to stir in a little additional liquid over low heat if you feel it has thickened too much during this time.

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Herb-Crusted Golden Tilefish

  • Tilefish
  • Egg wash (1 egg lightly beaten with 1/4 cup milk or water)
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • Fresh garlic clove, finely minced
  • Finely chopped fresh herbs (we used thyme and sage)

Mix the zest, garlic, and herbs into the breadcrumbs.  Portion the Tilefish and dip the top side in the egg wash, and then into the breadcrumbs.  You don’t need to bread or coat the entire piece of fish… just the top.  Set the fish aside.

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Heat a small amount of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pan.  Put the fish, coated side down in the pan.  Make sure there is a little room between the pieces so they brown rather than steam.  After the breadcrumbs have browned and it has formed a crust, remove the fish from the pan and place on a baking sheet.  Transfer to a 400-degree oven and bake until the fish is cooked through.  (This took about 5-7 minutes for us and will vary depending on the thickness of the fish you use.)

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All that is left to do it build your plate!  We started with the risotto and nestled the fish on top.  I was recently gifted some amazing products from Zia Pia Imports and one of the things I have really been wanting to try is the Lemon Balsamic Glaze.  If you have ever used a Balsamic glaze, it is the same sort of idea except it comes from a milder white balsamic and has an amazing lemon flavor.  It is sweet and a little bit drizzled over the top of the fish really cut the acidity of the lemon in our risotto and balanced the dish AMAZINGLY well.  I can’t wait to find more uses for it.

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