Apologies - but I first posted this incorrectly - as red mullet - and have finally got around to calling it red snapper.
This would be a good dish to have with friends - as most of it can be prepared ahead. We love experimenting, and the star of this dish was the pepper sauce. We've made pepper sauce before, but this time we added some vermouth, and the flavour was fantastic.
Begin by frying a chopped shallot and some garlic until soft, add one and a half chopped red and yellow peppers to the pan, cook for a little longer. Add small dash of white wine vinegar to the pan, the vermouth and stock/water. Reduce by half, then whizz in a blender - you may need to add just a touch of sugar to taste due to the white wine vinegar. We did this bit early in the afternoon - so it was ready to go. Add salt and pepper to taste.
The pearl barley risotto was made by using 80g of pearl barley and cooking it in fish stock - but any stock and/or ordinary water will do - until soft. We did this early in the afternoon, then when ready to eat, we heated through and added a tablespoon each of mascarpone and grated parmesan. Add a small knob of butter too, as this will give the dish a real richness. If we were making a risotto with rice, we wouldn't be able to pre-cook like this. Don't forget to season - salt needs to be added carefully, little by little, not enough and the barley is 'missing' something.
The fish fillets were pan fried in butter/oil. We served with some courgettes - sliced with a potato peeler. The clams were thrown into the risotto towards the end of cooking, and we only bought these as they were on offer and looked really tempting and fresh.
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