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Pan-Seared Opakapaka with Lobster-Barley

From: Chef Michael New, Club Grotto, Louisville, KY.
Yield: 6 servings.

3/4 lb. pearled barley
3 qt. boiling water
4 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 cup heavy cream
6 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbsp. chopped Italian parsley
2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
8 oz. cooked lobster meat
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
to taste, kosher salt
to taste, fresh cracked black pepper
1 1/2 oz. white truffle oil

6 6-oz. skin-on opakapaka fillets, scales removed
to taste, kosher salt and peper
4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Add the 4 Tbsp. kosher salt to boiling water. Add pearled barley and cook, stirring occasionally until the barley is just tender (about 35 minutes). Drain any excess liquid from the barley and return it to the pan. Add the heavy cream and mushrooms. Cook over low heat until the mushrooms are tender (about 5 minutes). Add the fresh herbs, lobster and butter. Stir until the butter is incorporated and the lobster is warmed through. Take care just to warm the cooked lobster, otherwise it will toughen. Taste and season the mixture with kosher salt and black pepper if needed.

For opakapaka: Preheat oven to 400°F. Pat fillets dry with paper towels and season flesh side with kosher salt and pepper. Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat. Depending on the size of pan, you may want to sear fish in batches to avoid over-crowding the pan. Add extra virgin olive oil. When oil just begins to smoke, carefully lay the fish, skin-side down, in the oil. Place the end of the fillet closest to you in the pan first, so that if it slips out of your hand the hot oil will splash away from you. Give the pan a gentle shake to make sure the skin is not sticking to the pan. Reduce heat to medium and sear the fish for 4-5 minutes, or until the skin crisps. Carefully turn the fillets over and cook for an additional minute or two, just to give the other side some color. Place fillets on a baking sheet and into oven for 6-8 minutes or until just done.

Serve fish skin-side up on top of a bed of the "risotto." Drizzle each portion with a little of the truffle oil.