Fresh seabass with potato risotto and a rhubarb & red onion chutney
The reason I have been a bit quiet lately is that I moved house. I have moved many times in my life but I think that this time I had managed to accumulate more processions than ever. It was quite interesting to go through everything and needless to say, the kitchen content was vast. We decided to move out of London and down to the Kent coast. It was time for a change and even if most of my things are still in packing boxes, and work has been manic, I love the lunch time walks on the beach.
I haven’t really had time to find my way around just yet but the fish here is dreamy fresh. I bought a seabass yesterday. I was going out to buy food for lunch but this caught my eye, it was wild and line caught the night before, I just could not resist buying it. The fishmonger descaled it for me and filleted it. Much to my surprise I got some lovely roe with my fillet. I pan fried it with some left over cauliflower from the previous day and served it with an omelette.
The seabass was so large one fillet was enough for dinner for two. The first night I was in a bit of a hurry but tonight I finally had some time for some cooking.
I walked past the veg mongers and they had the first, forced rhubarb. It looked so pink and delicate I knew I had to buy some. The first rhubarb is always sweeter and it is possible to eat it as it is, something I can never do with rhubarb otherwise.
I decided to make a rhubarb and red onion chutney to go with the seabass, fish and rhubarb is a great combo. If you are using rhubarb from later in the year you might want to cook it a bit longer and add more sugar or honey as it will have more acidity.
Red onion and rhubarb chutney
preparation time 10 minutes
cooking time 20 minutes + 10 minutes
- 1 red onion
- 3 small stalks of rhubarb
- 1 tbsp sugar, I used demerara
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp dried red currants
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
Slice the onion thinly and chop up the rhubarb. Place the onion, the cayenne pepper and the turmeric and about 3 tbsp of chopped up rhubarb with the oil and sugar in a pan. Cook on a medium to low heat and cook, add the dried red currants as well and let simmer with the lid on.
It is ready when the onion is soft. Then add the remaining chopped up rhubarb, turn the heat off and place a lid back on and let stand for 10 minutes. The residue of the heat will soften the rhubarb but keep it with a bite.
I once read on a restaurant menu that they had potato risotto. Sometimes I wonder if there is a bit of Irish in me as I love potato! A potato risotto sounded irresistible but for some reason that I now can’t remember I didn’t order it. It has been on my mind since and today was finally the day to make it.
preparation time 15 minutes
cooking time 13 minutes
- 2-3 medium sized potatoes
- 1 red chilli
- 20 tarragon leaves
- 1/2 tsp pink peppercorns
- 1 dl/1/2 cup of coconut milk, more if needed
- 1 tbsp oil
- salt & ground white pepper
Peel and cube the potatoes fine. Chop the chilli fine and take off 20 tarragon leaves. Tarragon has a lovely flavor but it can easily overpower everything else so I found 20 leaves plenty in this dish.
Place the potatoes together with the oil in a pan, don’t let the potatoes brown. Add salt and pepper and the coconut milk. Bring to a boil and stir whilst gently boiling. Potatoes, like rice has starch that will release as you are stirring. Add the chilli and the pink peppercorns. Add more coconut milk if necessary to keep it creamy. Keep cooking for 10 minutes, taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary and last add the tarragon leaves.
I only added a little salt to the sebass fillet and first pan fried it and the placed the frying pan in the oven at 180C/350F for 10 minutes.
The seabass was so delicious it didn’t need a lot more and the salt was just enough to bring out the flavor. The potato risotto was smooth and creamy, the potatoes stopped cooking just as they were cooked through but was not too soft. The chutney had a nice acidity and brought the dish together. It worked better than I would have guessed.
After this dinner we took a walk along the seafront where I took this picture of one of the fishing boats on the beach. Breathing the fresh air after dinner made me feel so alive and happy to just be.