Risotto with Ashes and Arctic char

Eugenio Boer presents the recipe for one of his new dishes at Essenza, which he recently opened in Milan

Dutch-Italian chef Eugenio Jacques Christian Boer,

Dutch-Italian chef Eugenio Jacques Christian Boer, after closing the experience with Enocratia and some consultancy jobs, a few weeks ago returned to direct the kitchen of a gourmet restaurant. Essenza, in Via Marghera in Milan (tel. +39.02.4986865) – of which we wrote here. The latter was also one of the restaurants participating in Birra Moretti’s Il piacere in abito da sera. It was on that very occasion that we had the opportunity to taste this splendid dish, perfectly paired with Birra Moretti Grand Cru

This dish is strongly reminiscent of my beautiful experience beside Norbert Niederkofler at St.Hubertus in San Cassiano, in Alta Val Badia. I have balanced the flavours based on the sweet cooking of the arctic char and inspired by the mountains where it lives. I thus needed a good risotto as a base, made fresh with a nice mix of herbs, not too heavy and with a few “special” notes. This is why there’s oil aromatised with ashes and the horseradish is raw. I then needed some crispiness - I found it in the arctic char roe which is sparkling and not too sapid.

Eugenio Boer in his new kitchen

Eugenio Boer in his new kitchen

Risotto with Ashes, Arctic Char and its roe

Recipe for 4 people

For the risotto

240 g carnaroli rice
1 bunch of rosemary
1 bunch of dill
1 bunch of marjoram
1 bunch of chives
40 g demi-sel butter
40 g Grana Padano
1 glass of white wine
1/4 horseradish root

For the marinated arctic char
280 g arctic char
200 g sugar
200 g salt
50 g fresh, chopped chives and dill
1/2 lemon zest
1/2 orange zest

For the broth
2 carrots
1 celery stick
1 onion
1 tomato
2 champignon mushrooms

To finish the dish
80 g arctic char roe
tips of the herbs mentioned above
Group photo for the Essenza's staff

Group photo for the Essenza's staff

For the broth
Clean all the vegetables and chop them roughly, paying attention to grill the tomatoes and onions, put them in a deep pot with lots of water and bring to the boil. The broth will be ready when it will looses its initial greenish colour and acquires a nice amber colour.

For the ashes
Clean all the herbs, which you will then chop, and keep the stalks, burning them slowly so as to obtain an aromatic vegetal ash. Extinguish the ash with extra virgin olive oil, blend and strain.

For the risotto
Toast the dry rice and add a glass of white wine. Continue to cook in the classic way with the previously prepared broth, adding it gradually. Once the cooking is completed, cream with the demi-sel butter, Grana Padano, the “ash” oil, the fresh chopped herbs and the grated horseradish.

For the marinated arctic char
Take the filets and put them on a baking tin and cover them with all the ingredients listed above, leaving them to marinate for 2 hours. Clean them and dry them and remove the fishbone. Cut the filets and create 4 70-gram portions. When serving, put the filets in a baking tin and cover them with cling film, then leave them under a lamp for at least 5-7 minutes.

Dish out placing the well creamed rice on the dish, then adding an arctic char filet, a tablespoon of its roe and the aromatic herbs.