This week I decided to get back into the kitchen. Risotto is one of my favorite foods and I wanted to see if I could make it from scratch without my mom’s help. I had a couple of risotto recipes pinned already and decided to look for a main dish to go with it. I found a recipe for Parmesan encrusted tilapia with a tomato cream sauce that sounded good. I thought the tomato and spinach risotto would pair well with this.
Click on the links below if you want to see the pins that I used:
When I went to Wal-Mart to buy the ingredients, the place was crazy. I think I stood in line for at least 30 minutes. I even had to go to Hy-Vee afterwards to buy the fish and rice. I ended up using cod instead of tilapia because it was cheaper.
Here are the ingredients you will need:
For the risotto:
- 2 cups of chicken broth (I suggest using more)
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- ½ of an onion, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Salt & pepper
- ¾ cup of Arborio rice
- ¼ cup dry white wine (I used pinot grigio)
- 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
- 2 cups of baby spinach
- Handful of torn basil
- ¼ cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup of cream (original recipe doesn’t call for this, but I like my risotto creamy)
For the fish:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 cup of cup of cherry tomatoes, halved (I used a mix of Roma and cherry tomatoes)
- ¾ cup of cream
- 4 cod fillets
- Salt & pepper
- ½ cup of flour
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup of panko breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon of granulated garlic
- oil for frying
I started making the sauce first. I chopped up my garlic and put it in the pan with olive oil to cook for a couple minutes on medium heat. Be sure to use the right type of pan for this, and that it is not too hot. You don’t want to burn your garlic. Then I put in my tomatoes and let them cook for a few minutes more. After that I put in the cream and let it simmer on low heat for 15-20min. Make sure you stir the pan occasionally so the bottom of the sauce doesn’t burn. I let my sauce stay warm in the pan for a little bit longer until the rest of the food was done cooking. I kept it on low heat the whole time and it didn’t burn.
The next step was to bread the fish. To create the breading mixture, you combine the panko breadcrumbs with the cheese and granulated garlic. I dried my fish with some paper towels, seasoned them and dipped them into my bowl of flour. After the fish was covered in flour, I dipped it in the eggs and then transferred it to the bowl with the breadcrumb mixture. Make sure your fish is coated all the way. Then, set the fish aside on a plate when you are done breading.
After the fish was breaded, I started on the risotto. I chopped up my onion and put it in a large saucepan with the butter to cook on medium heat. I also used some salt and pepper to season the onion in the pan. I then chopped up the tomato, spinach and basil and set it aside. After the onions turned clear in the pan, I added the rice. I made sure the rice was covered in the butter, and then poured the white wine into the pan. I waited until the white wine was absorbed and then added ½ cup of the chicken broth. The trick with risotto is patience. You have to wait until all of your broth is absorbed for it to be fully cooked and ready. When I was left with one cup of broth, I added my tomatoes to the pan. When I was left with ½ cup of broth, I added the spinach and basil to the pan. When all the broth was soaked up, I added my cream and cheese. I cooked until absorbed. When it was done cooking, I set it aside.
It was now time to cook the fish. I heated up another pan with oil and added my fish to the pan to cook on medium heat. It only took about 4 minutes on each side for it to cook. Be careful to make sure you don’t burn yourself; the oil can get very hot! After your fish is cooked you are ready to plate it and eat!