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Let’s-Not-Burn-the-House-Down Grilled Fish and Risotto, Croatian Style

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As soon as we returned home from Croatia, S was contemplating the best way to build a rotating spit for lamb and suckling pig in our apartment like the one we saw on the road to Plitvice Lakes National Park.  Unfortunately, we’ve had some previous run-ins with the Mainz fire department… and decided that this type of “grill” was bad idea for us.  So, we grilled some fish.  And made truffle “risotto” with squash.  It wasn’t a pig on a spit, but it was pretty good.

While S loved the suckling pig, my favorite dish in Zadar was squid ink risotto with truffles and cuttlefish. Amazing! At home in the States, I’m used to seeing truffles at the grocery store locked in a clear box with a crazy expensive price tag. In Europe, it’s a different story. In Croatia, it’s a TOTALLY different story. We bought a jarred truffle for only a few Euros. Another reason why I love Croatia!  I hope you love this recipe.

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Ingredients for fish:

2 fish. I used trout, but any white fish or even salmon would work.

1/4 cup olive oil, plus 2 tbs

Sea salt

Ground black pepper

1 lemon halved

1 tbs chopped parsley

1 tbs sliced chives (I accidentally used cloves instead of chives in this recipe once and it was actually pretty good….like a Christmas fish?)

Ingredients for truffle “risotto”:

1 large spaghetti squash (I used butternut squash because I couldn’t find a spaghetti squash in Mainz this time of year and it worked out.)

Olive oil or your fat of choice

6 cloves of garlic, minced

1 large yellow onion, chopped

A few pinches (or more…) grated parmesan

Salt and pepper to taste

Truffle shavings (or truffle oil)

Directions for Fish:

  1. Heat up the grill or a pan on high heat.

  2. Rub the fish with 2 tbs olive oil and salt.

  3. Grill about 4 minutes on each side until firm and browned.

  4. At the same time, grill the lemons, flesh side down until they begin to char.

  5. For the vinaigrette, squeeze the lemon juice into a bowl. Add the olive oil, herbs and salt and pepper. Stir.

  6. Pour the vinaigrette on the fish and enjoy!

Directions for “Risotto”:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Halve the squash and brush the flesh sides with olive oil then place face down in the oven.  Bake for 30-45 minutes.

  3. Place a medium skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil or fat of choice.

  4. Add the onions and sauté.

  5. When onions are soft, add the garlic and heat until caramelized. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  6. Remove squash and shred with a fork then toss it into the sauce mixture.

  7. Add the truffle shavings or truffle oil.

  8. Toss in a few pinches of parmesan cheese, or as much as you want (because life is short and cheese is good).

Enjoy!!

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I'm an American living in Mainz, Germany and, after a a one-year sabbatical from office life, working as a corporate lawyer in Frankfurt. While living in Europe with my fiancé, my goals are to see as much art, taste as much food, and experience as much life as possible.

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