Sunday, March 7, 2010

Pesto Parmesan Crusted Tilapia and Sundried Tomato Risotto

Whenever we have company for dinner, I love serving something special. I feel like this meal fit the bill. I made my parmesan crusted tilapia but added a little twist. It came out great and I think it took an already tasty fish dish to another level.

The instructions are exactly the same as the link above, but the topping was a bit different. I put a handful of fresh basil, 5 sundried tomatoes, and 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts in the food processor and pulsed until finely chopped. Then I added a cup of parmesan cheese and 2 tbs of dried basil and pulsed to combine. This made enough topping for 9 tilapia filets. The flavor was amazing!!

My main side dish was Pioneer Woman's Sundried Tomato Risotto. Wow! Definitely make this if you love risotto. It was awesome

Sundried Tomato Risotto
from The Pioneer Woman


4 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
½ whole Large Yellow Onion, Diced
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
2 cups Arborio Rice, Uncooked
8 whole Sundried Tomatoes Packed In Oil, Drained And Minced
1 cup Dry White Wine (optional)
7 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
(I used low sodium vegetable broth)
Salt As Needed
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 cup Parmesan, Freshly Grated
¼ cups Heavy Whipping Cream
Fresh Basil, Chiffonade
(I used dried basil)

Preparation Instructions

Heat broth (note: it’s important the broth be low sodium) in a saucepan or in a microwave safe pitcher. Set aside.

Heat butter and olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.

Add dry rice. Stir to coat and cook for 3 minutes, stirring gently.

Pour in wine. Stir and cook over medium-low heat until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add in minced sundried tomatoes and stir.

Then begin adding broth, one cup at a time, stirring gently while the rice absorbs the liquid each time. Repeat this until the rice is done—it usually takes between 6 and 8 cups of broth. The rice should have a slight bite to it, but not be crunchy at all.

Remove from heat, then stir in Parmesan and heavy cream. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

I originally thought I was going to skip the heavy cream at the end, but decided what the heck, since it was a special dinner. I'm glad I went for it. And I'm really happy to have some leftovers today. Is 9am too early for risotto?

I also served roasted asparagus (425 for 15 mins with olive oil and salt) and a simple Caesar salad.

Big Thanks to Lynsey and John for coming to dinner!


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