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Feeling saucy: Swordfish with béarnaise sauce and herb-lemon risotto

By: Dan Zahra, Food Dude
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Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 40 to 50 minutes
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients
Fish:
Two 6 ounce swordfish steaks
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil
Herb-lemon risotto:
1 lemon (juice of half the lemon and zest of entire lemon)
4 cups chicken stock
½ cup water
1 medium shallot (finely diced)
½ cup flat leaf parsley (chopped)
¼ cup marjoram (chopped)
¼ cup oregano (chopped)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Béarnaise:
1 bunch fresh tarragon (or about a teaspoon dry)
1 shallot (finely diced)
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup dry white wine
2 egg yolks
¼ cup butter (unsalted and melted)
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Risotto:
In a saucepan melt 2 tablespoons of butter with the chopped shallots and sauté for about three minutes.
Add the Arborio rice to the butter and shallots making sure it is coated well by the butter and shallots.
In a separate medium size pot, heat the chicken stock and keep it on a burner on low.  
Add the wine and cook over medium-high heat until the wine is completely reduced.  
Once the wine has reduced, using a ½ cup measuring cup and add the chicken stock and simmer until reduced, stirring occasionally.
Repeat this process of adding and reducing the stock until the stock has been used up (about a 30-plus minute process).  
Remove the risotto from the heat.  
While cooking the swordfish, place the risotto back on the burner at medium heat.
Stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, parmesan, and mascarpone cheeses. Add warm water to adjust the texture until creamy but somewhat firm.
Just before plating, add the fresh herbs to the risotto and fold in well. Again, add warm water if needed.  
Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Swordfish:
Lightly brush the swordfish with olive oil and season both sides of the fish with salt and pepper.
Cook over medium heat about three minutes on each side. Set aside and let rest for a couple of minutes.

Béarnaise:
In a saucepan, add the tarragon, shallots, wine, and rice wine vinegar. Simmer until the wine and vinegar reduce by at least half.
In a blender mix the egg yolks and béarnaise reduction together. Salt and pepper as needed. In a bowl melt the butter and, leaving the blender running, slowly pour the melted butter into the egg yolk mixture. Once the mixture emulsifies, blend for another moment and then set aside. Just before plating, blend again to get maximum froth.

Side Suggestions
Pan seared asparagus, blanched broccoli or romanesco.
Pairs well with rosé or sauvignon blanc

Sauces can take a dish from good to great, wonderful to wow, marvelous to magnificent … . I think you get the picture.
Mac and cheese is really just macaroni in a cheese sauce which is built from a béchamel sauce.
For instance, eggs Benedict would still be good without hollandaise sauce. But, really? A poached egg on toasted English muffin with sliced ham or Canadian bacon is just an egg sandwich. It just screams for a sauce, and the sauce is what makes the dish. You certainly wouldn’t want to eat macaroni with no cheese sauce, right?
So I will be focusing on sauces in the coming weeks.
Some of the easiest sauces can be made with basic ingredients I bet you have in your refrigerator and pantry right now. One of my favorites that can be used on so many recipes is made with mayonnaise, sriracha, Worcestershire sauce and fish sauce. Yes, fish sauce. Fish sauce is one of those surprise ingredients you wouldn’t even know was used in the recipe if you weren’t told it was. It brings the umami (pleasant savory taste) to a plethora of recipes created in restaurants that you eat and never know what is creating that incredible flavor.


Basic formulas of the five mother sauces
Béchamel: Roux + dairy (traditionally milk or cream)
Velouté: Roux + white stock (traditionally chicken, but also vegetable or fish)
Espagnole: Roux + brown stock (traditionally veal or beef)
Tomato: Roux + tomatoes (or, go the Italian route by skipping the roux and simply reducing tomatoes over medium-low heat until thick)
Hollandaise: Egg yolks + clarified melted butter + acid (like lemon juice or white wine

Roux (•ru) is flour and fat cooked together and used to thicken sauces. The fat is butter in French cuisine, but may be lard or vegetable oil in other cuisines.
From blond to dark, roux is the foundation of many great recipes
Reach Dan Zahra at fooddudedan@gmail.com.