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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Poached Halibut Over Pensacola Porter Risotto

I'm never really one to turn down free beer or good food, so when a box of beer from the Lewis Bear distributors in Florida arrived at my doorstep for a little Virtual Potluck, I figured the proper Bite and Booze thing to do was cook with some, and drink the rest!  My assignment was to cook with the Pensacola Brewery's porter, so my brain started to spin about what I could make with it, and what I had available in my fridge!

The results: some Alaskan Halibut that we caught on a fishing trip out of Homer, AK, and some arborio risotto rice that looked like it could pack plenty of flavor!  I got started right away.

I decided that I would poach the halibut in the oven in a mixture of olive oil and lemon juice.  I also sprinkled each side of the fish with salt and pepper.  I preheated the oven to around 325 degrees and then switched my attention to the risotto.  When the timing felt right I stuck the halibut in the oven for about 12 to 15 minutes until the fleshy began to flake apart while still holding moist and firm in the middle.



The key to any risotto is the stock used to create it.  Risotto is an Italian rice dish whereby the liquid is slowly added to the rice and allowed to absorb instead of the simple boil and simmer method commonly employed elsewhere.  The flavor of that liquid, or stock, is what builds character in the dish itself.  For this risotto I used some homemade turkey stock and added some fresh carrot, onion, celery, kosher salt, black pepper, a few sprigs of parsley from my Harb's Oasis herb garden, and about half a cup of the Pensacola Brewery Porter.  


As soon as the stock seemed ready to roll, I toasted off my rice just a tad in a hot pan and began ladling the stock over a scoop at a time, stirring between ladles until the moisture had been taken in by the sponge-like grains.  I continue this process until the rice had the appropriate texture.  I followed that up with pureeing the carrots and a bit of the onion and celery that I skimmed from the stock pot then adding that back to the risotto to give it a lovely orange color and an even deeper flavor.

Poached Halibut Over Pensacola Porter Risotto
To serve the dish I plated the risotto on the bottom and topped it with some freshly grated Parmesan, followed by a halibut filet and a few parsley leaves.  And I also had the rest of the beer!


Want to win something?  The Lewis Bear Company will be shipping out to the winner some beer-inspired t-shirts, hat, and other cool swag. Entry is limited to residents of the US, 18 or older. Contest ends at noon, Eastern time, on Sunday, February 5. 

To enter, comment on this post and tell me what's your favorite craft beer or favorite way to use beer in your kitchen.  For more chances, make sure to tell me if you:
Go to our party host site, 30AEATS and leave a comment there. 
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