Halibut Osso Buco with Risotto

by Joanne on August 24, 2009

It was a real blue Monday.  A surgery in the family. Shane has allergies. Kept leaving my phone everywhere except with me!  General “ick-ola” feeling.  You know that type of Monday? You’re really in search of something good to make you smile and if you look hard enough, it comes up.  So there were a few grins and chuckles today, but fewer than normal.  Chin up..there IS tomorrow! Here’s one for you:  😀

The workout this morning was not a good one.  It was only 23 min. of ET. 30 minutes working shoulders.  38 minute walk with Shane. Nothing to get the heart rate up nor make me sweat  (whoops!) I mean perspire (my mother would correct me:  “Joanne – ladies do not sweat, we perspire!”

Good Eats. Elegant Eats. In fact, a whole dinner! 


A few weeks ago I received the most elegant of cook books. It is “Cooking with America’s Championship Team: ACF”.   These are not recipes for the faint of heart.  I had to be completely honest with myself and admit my finished dish was not going to look like the picture in the book.  It probably wouldn’t taste the same, but as long as we liked it, none of that mattered.

My first attempt at one of the recipes:  I call it “Halibut Osso Buco with Zucchini Risotto.  The one in the book (page 136) is called “Monkfish Osso Buco over Eggplant Risotto”.  I changed my recipe in just about every way but will say it is based upon the one in the book.  I’m listing it in the order I prepared it.


Tomato Coulis:

  • 1 large fresh tomato
  • 1 TBS vegetable stock
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp crushed fennel

Combine all the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Season to taste. Chill.

Green Cauliflower (in the book, Chef Jamie P. Keating serves Broccoli Rabe):

  • 1 head green cauliflower, chopped, boiled for 5 minutes to soften slightly
  • 1 TBS SmartBalance (or butter)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste.

Bring water to a boil. Add the cauliflower and boil 5 minutes. Drain. When you are about 10 minutes from serving dinner, place the drained cauliflower in a saute pan with melted SmartBalance, add seasoning and sautee 5 to 8 minutes.

Zucchini Risotto (Chef uses Eggplant- which I didn’t have, but I did have a zucchini  🙂   )

  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 TBS canola oil
  • 1 medium zucchini – diced
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 1/2 cups Vegetable Stock (or chicken or fish stock) – use more as needed.
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 6 large basil leaves, shredded
  • 6 large sundried tomatoes reconstituted in a sweet wine – about 1 hour or more.( I used the Lexia from Friday, an Alice White Australian wine – about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 TBS SmartBalance (or butter)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in skillet and saute the zucchini about 5 minutes on medium high.


Add the shallots and garlic and cook another 3 – 4 minutes. Turn off heat.

Put the rice in a dry skillet on medium high heat and toast lightly. 


Add half of the stock and all of the liquid from the soaking sundried tomatoes. Cook until most of the liquid is absorbed.  Add the rest of the stock and cook until it has been absorbed.  Add more if needed or until rice is tender. 


Stir in cheese, half & half.  Then add the basil, tomatoes, zucchini, and SmartBalance. Season to taste.

The Halibut (or fish of your choice):

  • 2 Halibut fillets (approx. 1.25 lbs)
  • 1/2 cup seasoned flour (I seasoned the flour with salt, pepper, and italian seasoning)
  • 2 ounced white wine
  • 2 TBS Fish Sauce
  • 1 cup Vegetable stock
  • 2 large green onions, diced
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 2 TBS fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 large shredded bay leaf

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Season the fish on all sides in the flour.  Heat the oil in a saute pan and sear fish on all sides (about 3 min per side). 


Remove from pan and put into a foil lined baking dish (easy clean up).  Add the wine, stock, onion, and seasonings to the pan and bring to a boil.  Pour over the fish and bake 8 minutes.





This dish was a terrific idea. But… it lacked flavor. I think it was the fish.  Amazing since so much went into it.   By the way, the tomato coulis is added to the side of the plate with a sprig of basil to serve.

Here’s to a better tomorrow! Cheers!


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  • At 2009.08.25 09:04, Jeena said:

    This looks delicious, you always have great looking fish. I am a great fan of fish and rice too.

    We all have those days…. 🙂

    • At 2009.08.25 09:28, Nancy Jean said:

      My mom’s saying was a little bit different: “Nancy … horses sweat, men perspire, and women glow.”

      This dish looks amazing, Joanne, and I’ll keep in mind that it needs a bit more flavor. I’m thinkin’ maybe swordfish might be a good try.

      I didn’t know what to do with fresh zucchini, unless it was sliced & fried. Thanks to your wonderful blog, my family is eating more fresh veggies!

      • At 2009.08.25 10:12, applec said:

        Nancy: I like your mother’s “beads of work” references.
        As for the veggies…good for you guys! I wish it would work on Ted. He insists on eating the proteins first and if there is room, then he touches on the veggies. UNLESS… I sneak them into something like RISOTTO! 🙂

        • At 2009.08.25 11:47, Sara said:

          That looks really good. Hope everyone is alright. I hate icky mondays 🙁

          • At 2009.08.25 16:30, Danielle said:

            Wow that seriously looks fantastic!
            Hope everything works out!

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