Friday, December 26, 2014

Smoked Trout and Leek Risotto {One Photo Friday}

I love risotto. The creamy indulgent comfort. Even the making of it--the zen of ladling and stirring for 20 to 30 minutes and waiting for the 'magic' to happen. I usually use that stirring time to clear my head and think of nothing but I was caught up in the middle of this suspenseful mystery/thriller and spent my risotto-making time with my Kindle in one hand, the spoon in the other. (E-readers are made for risotto stirring.)  

A Diana Henry smoked fish and leek risotto recipe from Roast Figs Sugar Snow: Food to Warm the Soul has been tempting me for a while. Henry uses smoked haddock but I chose the easier to find smoked trout. The combination of smoky fish, sweet leeks and creamy rice sounded good and perfect for a slightly indulgent holiday week meal. I cut the recipe down a bit and made a couple of small changes noted in red below. 


Diana Henry says, "I don't usually like inauthentic dishes that fuse a technique from one country's cuisine with ingredients from another, but occasionally it works, and it does here. I'd even expect Italians to like this. Try not to break the smoked fish up too much--you want to find chunks of it among the rice, not tiny flakes.

Smoked Trout and Leek Risotto 
Adapted from Roast Figs Sugar Snow by Diana Henry
(Serves 4-6)

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter (I used about 1/8 cup)
4 medium leeks finely sliced
1 lb (450g) smoked haddock or other smoked fish (I used 8 oz smoked trout)
4 1/4 cups light chicken or vegetable stock (I used 5 cups low-sodium no-chicken broth)
10 1/2 oz (300g) aborio rice (I used 1 2/3 cups)
3 oz (75g) freshly-grated Parmesan (I used 2 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano)

Melt butter in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan pan and sweat the leeks in it for 15 minutes. Remove skin from fish and cut into small chunks and set aside. Bring stock to a simmer in a separate pot.

Add the rice to the leeks. Stir and cook for about a minute, making sure the rice is well coated with the buttery juices. Begin adding hot stock, a ladleful at a time stirring constantly. Don't add new liquid until each ladleful has been absorbed. The rice will become sticky and creamy as it cooks and it should take about 20 minutes to become soft while retaining a little bite in the center. (Note: I used 5 cups of broth and about 28 minutes to get the risotto to my liking--ultra creamy but still a small 'bite' in the center of the rice.)

When risotto is cooked to your liking, stir in about 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan and the chunks of smoked fish. Check seasoning--it's unlikely to need any salt because of the saltiness of the cheese and fish, but a good grind of pepper will finish it off. Serve topped with the remaining Parmesan and a sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley if desired.
Notes/Results: Rich, creamy and full of flavor. The smoked cheese paired well with the slightly salty Parmigiano-Reggiano and the leeks kept it from being too salty. I generally take more time and liquid to make my risotto. In the recipe, Henry says about 20 minutes--I took mine to about 28 minutes and used extra broth. Also, in the recipe the smoked haddock is poached before it is added to the dish but I didn't see a reason or need for that with the trout so I omitted that step. The dish made me happy so I quickly snapped one photo with my iPhone and dug in. I would make this again.

This post is linking up to I Heart Cooking Clubs where it is Potluck week. The chance to make any Diana Henry recipe or a recipe from any previous IHCC chef. You can see what everyone made by checking out the picture links on the post when it goes live.

{One Photo Friday: Since I normally drag out my big camera and gear, take a bunch of photos of my recipes, and then spend time obsessing over them--I decided that for Fridays, I'll simplify by posting a recipe or something interesting and then just take one photo of it with my iPhone--no muss/no fuss.}


  1. Smoked fish in risotto - that does sound good! Happy New Year!

  2. I love you idea of one photo Friday - so easy!

  3. Yes, e-readers are made for risotto stirring! Happy New Year!

  4. Stirring risotto is definitely therapeutic! I'm sad to say I haven't made risotto all year! No reason really. Thanks for the reminder to make it. It's a great way to clean out the cheese drawer and the leftovers in the fridge. This version looks delicious and perfectly indulgent!

  5. Hah! I have seemed to make it a bunch this year. It is perfect for fridge leftovers. ;-)

  6. Happy New Year Ulrike! ;-)

  7. Yes! Sometimes I am not in the mood to get out the camera--it changes it up a bit. ;-)

  8. It was really good Zosia. ;-)

  9. Thanks Joyce! ;-)

  10. Using fish in risotto is something that I have to try! Looks yummy!


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