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Recipe: Poached Monkfish With Garlic Soup

July 13
16:29 2020

By Kathleen Squires

Monkfish, called rape (pronounced rah-pé) in Spain, is popular in soups in the Basque Country, where it is also called sapo. The recipe yields eight servings. You can slice one loin and chill the other for later use, as it will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Or, you can make the recipe ahead to serve for a special occasion; its dramatic presentation makes it a great dinner-party dish.

Total Time: 2 hours Serves: 8

  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 10 cups water
  • 2 (1¼-pound) boneless monkfish loins, trimmed of any silver skin
  • 3 cups fish stock or water
  • 5 flat-leaf parsley sprigs, plus chopped parsley, for garnish
  • 4 dried choricero or guajillo peppers, tops trimmed off and seeds shaken out
  • 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sweet smoked Spanish paprika
  • ½ cup plus 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 8 (1-inch-thick) slices day-old baguette, cut on the bias
  • Country bread, for serving

1. Make brine: Combine salt and water in a large bowl and stir to dissolve. Add monkfish and let stand 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, make soup: In a saucepan, combine stock, parsley sprigs and peppers and bring to a low simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep 20 minutes.

3. Strain stock through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl and leave solids behind in saucepan. Remove peppers from pan and use a spoon to scrape out pulp into a bowl. Discard skins. Add 2 teaspoons paprika and ½ cup oil to pepper pulp and whisk to combine. Add 3 cups strained stock, mix well and keep warm.

4. Line a plate with paper towels. In a small saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until golden brown and crisp, about 40 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to transfer garlic to towel-lined plate. Increase heat to medium, add baguette slices to oil remaining in pan and toast, turning once, until golden on both sides, about 2 minutes total. Set bread aside.

5. Finish monkfish: fill a large saucepan halfway with water and heat to 140 degrees, using a thermometer to monitor temperature. Remove fish from brine and pat dry. In a bowl, mix together remaining oil and paprika. Rub half of mixture evenly onto each piece of fish and tightly wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Wrap each piece in a second layer of plastic wrap, holding both ends of wrap and rolling fish forward so it resembles a large wrapped candy or sausage. Tapered end of loin should now be about the same thickness as thicker end. Wrap each piece in aluminum foil, sealing securely.

6. Place a rack in bottom of saucepan of hot water. Place fish packets on rack and top with a large plate to keep from floating. Cook 45 minutes. Check water temperature to make sure it remains at 140 degrees. Remove packets from pan and let cool 20 minutes at room temperature.

7. To serve, carefully unwrap fish, reserving juices that drip out of packets. Use a very sharp knife to slice each loin into 4 large scallops, applying as little pressure as possible to avoid flaking fish. Add reserved juices to soup a little at a time, tasting as you go, as juices will increase salt level.

8. Place a toasted baguette slice in each bowl. Place fish on top of bread and top with a few garlic chips and some chopped parsley. Pour warm soup around bread. Drizzle each serving with oil and serve with country bread.


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Tarannum Naaz

Tarannum Naaz

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