Monday, March 17, 2014

Sole Bundles with Spinach and Brown Rice Risotto - IHCC Potluck

After last month's experiment with baked risotto, it was time to return to the traditional method of making it. And to go with the rice, a lovely, saucy filet of sole dish. For this month's potluck theme at I Heart Cooking Clubs, I cooked with Tessa Kiros, one of the earlier featured chefs. The recipes for Brown Rice Risotto and Sole Bundles with Spinach are from her book Apples for Jam.
The recipe for the risotto didn't specify the type of brown rice but I had short grain which I thought would yield better results than the basmati, long grain or Calrose that was also in my pantry. As you can imagine, the rice took much longer to cook and required more liquid than a risotto made with white rice but I did find that it was very slow to absorb the stock at first so needed just the occasional stir and liquid top up during the first 30 minutes of cooking (it took just over an hour total). Flavoured with garlic and Parmesan, the rice ended up creamy with a subtle nutty flavour and a pleasantly chewy texture.
risotto sole bundles
While the rice cooked, I prepared the stuffed sole. I really liked the presentation of this recipe in the book and thought it would go well with the risotto. My filets were on the small side (11 in a 400g package) and required a few toothpicks to hold them together but the spinach filling, made with a 300g package of frozen, chopped spinach that didn't need to be precooked, was easily pressed into compact shapes making the job of rolling quite easy. The bundles were cooked in a quick and easy tomato sauce made with canned tomatoes, garlic and basil.
Both dishes were simply flavoured but delicious - very family friendly fare - and something I would definitely make again. 

Additional notes:
- I used vegetable stock for the risotto, and omitted the butter added at the end of cooking
- next time, I'll skip flouring the fish bundles since it didn't help them to brown in the tomato sauce; the flour wasn't required to thicken the sauce; I broke some of the delicate rolls trying to turn them during cooking (I'm glad I used all of those toothpicks!), a step that wouldn't be necessary without the flour

Visit IHCC to see what everyone else made.

6 comments:

  1. Hi Zosia,
    A lovely dish of risotto and fish!
    I would love to try cooking risotto one of these days. The fish looks delicious, filling it with the spinach and cooking it in tomato sauce sounds good.
    Lovely potluck choice!

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  2. You and I opened up the same cookbook this week! ;-) This is such a lovely dish, I love how elegant and colorful it is. Family-friendly but perfect for company too.

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  3. I agree with Deb, this is such an elegant dish. Spinach is me favorite vegetable and I like it paired with fish. I'll have to try this next time I make fish.

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  4. I like Tessa, you can't go wrong with her recipes. Looking good here, love spinach...mmm

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  5. What a beautiful dish - I'm a huge fan of Tessa Kiros, and this is another reminder that this is one more book I need to add to my collection.

    I never would have thought to try making a risotto with brown rice - I'm definitely keen to give it a whirl one night when I've got plenty of time to spare.

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  6. Well, you had me at risotto, but then you went and added sole. I haven't had it in years but always liked it. Looks delicious.

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