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Grilled red mullet with saffron risotto and warm tomato dressing, by Tony Dorris

07 May 2010

This recipe for grilled red mullet comes from Tony Dorris, Handmake Homemade Recipes from Jersey (Jersey Pottery).

(Serves four)

  • 4 x 175g red mullet fillets, scaled and boned
  • 1tbs olive oil
  • 600ml chicken stock
  • 30g butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 300g risotto rice
  • 75ml white wine
  • 20 strands saffron (a good pinch)
  • 50g cold salted Jersey butter, diced
  • 50g grated Parmesan
  • Salt and pepper

Warm tomato dressing

  • 75ml basic tomato sauce (see below)
  • 1tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 2tbs olive oil
  • 2 plum tomatoes, deseeded and diced
  • A few basil leaves, chopped

Basic tomato sauce

  • 300g ripe vine tomatoes, quartered
  • 30g tomato purée
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, roughly diced
  • 75ml dry white wine
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1tbs olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


For the sauce

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan; add the onions, garlic and herbs then the tomato purée. Cook for a minute or so, then add the white wine. Reduce until the liquid has evaporated, then add the tomatoes.

Season with salt and pepper, then cook for 25-30 minutes on a low heat. Remove the herbs, liquidise and pass through a sieve and set aside.

For the risotto

Heat the chicken stock and leave on a low heat in a heavy-based pan.

Melt 30g of butter on a medium heat in a saucepan and cook the onions in it until translucent. Add the rice and stir well for one minute. Increase the heat and add the wine and the saffron, stirring until the wine has completely evaporated. Season with a little salt and pepper.

Once the wine has evaporated, slowly add the stock, ensuring that the rice has absorbed the liquid before adding more. Reduce the heat back to medium and keep adding the liquid until the rice is almost cooked. This will take approximately 18 minutes.

Remove from the heat, beat in the Parmesan and cold butter, and adjust the seasoning.

For the warm tomato dressing

In a small saucepan warm the tomato sauce and stir in the balsamic vinegar. Mix in the olive oil and diced tomato. Season with salt and pepper and add the basil leaves. Leave in a warm place for 10 minutes to let the flavours infuse.

For the fish

Brush the skin with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and lay on a grilling tray. Place under a hot grill for 3-4 minutes until the skin has turned golden and crisp and the heat has just penetrated the flesh. Alternatively, you can pan fry the red mullet, skin side down.

To serve

Divide the risotto between four bowl plates, place the red mullet on top and spoon over the warm tomato dressing.

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