Today, we’re taking on the delightful task of cooking a French monkfish stew. Preparing this dish begins with cutting the monkfish into sizeable chunks and seasoning them with salt and pepper.

Then, by heating up butter and olive oil in a pan—or a clay pot if you have one—we start the process that’s going to turn these simple ingredients into something extraordinary.

French Delicacy: Lotte à L'Armoricaine Monkfish Stew (Day 24)

The fish is dredged in flour for that perfect sear, ensuring it’s golden and crispy before it’s set aside, with all the delicious juices retained for the stew.

Next, the foundation of any good stew is built with aromatics like garlic and onion, sautéed until they’re just turning translucent. Adding a splash of dry white wine and a touch of Grand Marnier brings depth to the flavors, deglazing the pan and lifting those browned bits that are packed with taste.

From the herby punches of thyme to the stock that enriches the stew, each ingredient is carefully chosen to complement the monkfish. Simmering everything together allows the flavors to meld beautifully before the fish is reintroduced and cooked to tender perfection.

Ingredients

To prepare the French monkfish stew, gather the following ingredients:

  • Monkfish: Approximately 1 kilogram, cut into chunks around a couple of inches in size.
  • Butter and Olive Oil: A combination to fry the fish. Start with heating butter and add about one tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Seasoning: Generously apply salt and pepper to taste on both sides of the fish chunks.
  • Flour: Use about half a cup to one cup for dredging the monkfish.
  • Garlic and Onion: A couple of garlic cloves and half an onion sliced for the base of the stew.
  • White Wine: Around 100 milliliters of a dry Sve white wine for deglazing the pan and adding flavor.
  • Gran Marnier: A touch for a rich, aromatic note (optional).
  • Herbs: Fresh thyme sprigs with leaves removed and about a tablespoon of chopped parsley to be added towards the end.
  • Liquid: Use about a glass worth of homemade monkfish stock for added depth (optional).
  • Tomatoes: One can of skinned tomatoes plus a couple of teaspoons of tomato puree. Do not use a knife to open the can to avoid damage.
  • Bay Leaves: Two, especially if they are old.
  • Heat: A teaspoon of chili powder, to taste.
  • To serve: Boiled white rice to complement the stew.
  • Finishing touches: A bit of crème fraîche for creaminess and additional parsley for garnish (both optional).

Proceed by incorporating these ingredients at the appropriate stages of cooking, ensuring they meld well to create the flavorful monkfish stew. Enjoy once fully simmered and the monkfish is tender.

Cooking the Monkfish

Seasoning and Dredging the Monkfish

Before you begin cooking, prepare your monkfish by cutting it into roughly 2-inch chunks. You’ll then want to season the fish with salt and pepper on both sides.

Following the seasoning, it’s time to dredge your monkfish.

Lay out half a cup to a cup’s worth of white flour on a plate or a flat surface, and coat each chunk of fish uniformly with the flour. This will help to create a delicate crust and thicken the sauce later in the cooking process.

Frying the Monkfish

Heat a generous amount of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the monkfish chunks to it.

Fry them for about 2 to 3 minutes or until they are golden brown. Due to the size of the batch, you might need to cook the monkfish in two separate sessions. Remember to flip the pieces to ensure they are fried evenly on each side.

After frying, place the monkfish onto a plate. It’s important to preserve the juices that come off the fish, as they will be utilized later in the stew.

Making the Stew

Deglazing with Wine and Grand Marnier

Once the monkfish is set aside, pour approximately 100 milliliters of dry white wine into the pan, along with a small amount of Grand Marnier.

Turn off the heat to deglaze the pan, scraping the flavorful bits from the bottom. The heat will burn off the alcohol, leaving behind a rich foundation for the stew.

Adding Onions, Garlic, and Herbs

Bring the pan back to medium heat and add finely chopped half an onion along with a couple of minced garlic cloves.

Sauté until the onions turn translucent. Then, add fresh thyme leaves, stripped from the stems. Chop roughly a tablespoon of parsley for later use.

Including Tomatoes and Monkfish Stock

Introduce a can of skinned tomatoes to the onion and garlic mixture, crushing them gently.

Optionally, mix in a glass of monkfish stock for added depth.

Include a couple of bay leaves and, for a hint of spice, a teaspoon of chili. Stir in a few teaspoons of tomato puree, and prepare to let the stew simmer.

Simmering the Stew

Bring the stew to a gentle simmer and allow it to cook for approximately 30 minutes.

Now is a good time to boil some white rice to serve along with the stew.

Finishing the Stew with Monkfish and Parsley

As we near the completion of our French monkfish stew, we’ll be re-introducing the monkfish to the pot alongside our final touches.

Remember, we’ve set aside the monkfish, already seasoned with salt and pepper, dredged in flour, and lightly fried. Now it’s time to bring it all together.

Adding the Monkfish Back into the Stew:

  1. Gently incorporate monkfish:
    • Return the monkfish chunks to the stew and carefully mix while avoiding breaking the delicate meat.
    • Pour in the juices released by the monkfish to enrich the stew.
  2. Cooking duration:
    • Allow the stew to simmer with the monkfish for around five additional minutes. This ensures the fish is perfectly heated through without overcooking.

Final Flavor Enhancements:

  • Parsley:
    • Finely chop approximately a tablespoon of fresh parsley to be stirred in right at the end.
  • Crème Fraîche (Optional):
    • For added richness, fold in some crème fraîche as per your preference. It’s optional for those sensitive to lactose.

Plating Your Dish:

  • Remove the bay leaves to avoid any unpleasant texture.
  • Serve the stew hot, spooned generously over a bed of white rice.
  • Sprinkle extra parsley on top for a pop of color and freshness.
Yield: 5 portions

French Monkfish Stew

French Monkfish Stew

Indulge in the delightful flavors of a French-inspired monkfish stew, where tender monkfish is complemented by a rich tomato-based sauce infused with aromatic herbs and spices. This hearty dish is perfect for a cozy dinner, served atop a bed of fluffy white rice.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • Monkfish: 1 kilogram, cut into chunks around a couple of inches in size.
  • Butter: 2 tbsp
  • Olive Oil: 2 tbsp
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Flour: Half a cup to one cup (for dredging the monkfish.)
  • Garlic: 2 cloves
  • Onion: half
  • Dry White Wine: Around 100 ml
  • Grand Marnier (alternative: any other cognac)
  • Fresh Thyme: 1 spring
  • Parsley: 1 spring
  • Homemade monkfish stock: 1 cup (alternative: regular fish stock).
  • Canned Tomatoes: 1 can of skinned tomatoes
  • Tomato Puree: 2 ts
  • Bay Leaves: 2
  • Chili powder: Approx. 1 ts to taste.
  • Crème fraîche: 1 tbsp (optional)
  • 1-2 cups of white rice

Instructions

1. Seasoning and Dredging the Monkfish:

  • Cut the monkfish into roughly 2-inch chunks and season with salt and pepper.
  • Dredge the seasoned monkfish in flour to create a delicate crust.

2. Frying the Monkfish:

  • Heat a generous amount of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over high heat.
  • Fry the monkfish chunks until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Set aside on a plate, retaining the juices.

3. Making the Stew:

  • Deglaze the pan with white wine and Grand Marnier (alternatively, any other cognac), scraping up the flavorful bits.
  • Sauté garlic, onion, and herbs until onions are translucent.
  • Add skinned tomatoes, monkfish stock, bay leaves, chili powder, and tomato puree. Let simmer for 30 minutes.

4. Finishing the Stew with Monkfish and Parsley:

  • Gently incorporate the fried monkfish back into the stew, along with the reserved juices.
  • Simmer for an additional five minutes.
  • Stir in chopped parsley and crème fraîche (optional).
  • Remove bay leaves.

5. Plating Your Dish:

  • Serve the stew hot over a bed of white rice.
  • Garnish with additional parsley.

Enjoy the rich flavors and tender monkfish in this hearty French stew!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

5

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 241Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 491mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 15g

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Torstein Rottingen
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