Fish Name (Dusky Flathead)
How you store it
I gill & gut the fish on capture, and get it straight into a saltwater/ice slurry. This ensures spanking fresh fish. If at all possible I prefer to cook it on the same day, but it will keep for a day or two in the fridge if necessary.
How you prep it
Fillet & skin your flathead & remove rib bones with a pair of pliers or tweezers. Save head, frame, skin and bones for stock.
How you cook it
Cover frame, skin & head with approx 1 litre cold water. Add a small carrot (chopped), some parsley stalks, half a small onion (chopped roughly with the skin on), a stick of celery if you have one & 10 peppercorns. Bring to a simmer for 30-60 mins. Strain & keep hot. This is your stock.
Fry flathead fillets in butter until just cooked (approx 3 mins per side, skin side first). Flake fish, removing any extra bones & reserve.
Chop the other half of the onion (peeled) & fry gently in 40g of butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat until soft (but not browned). Add 2 cups arborio rice & stir over heat for a few minutes then add half a cup of dry white wine. Cook until liquid is almost gone then add half a cup of hot stock & cook until almost dry, stirring frequently. Repeat with more stock until rice is creamy - around 20 mins and 1 litre of stock should be right. If you run out of stock, use boiling water, & add a little more salt. When rice is cooked (it should be soft, with a firmish but not crunchy centre, and not too dry) add 40g more butter, the reserved fish, a small handful of chopped parsley, salt & freshly ground black pepper. Stir gently to combine & you're done.
How you serve it
I serve in dished plates with a lemon wedge. A green salad goes well, as does a cold XXXX gold. Strictly speaking cheese should not be used with a fish risotto, but I like a little freshly grated parmesan with mine.
How it makes your fish As Good As GOLD
This is the ideal recipe if there's not quite enough fish to go round. It uses the complete fish with no wastage. At a pinch, you can serve 4 from one legal (36cm) flathead. Tastes pretty good too. I can do the whole thing including the stock in less than an hour, or 2 cold XXXX golds. I really like Flathead like this, but it works equally well with other white fleshed species.