A quick Spanish recipe that presents beautifully. If I am pressed for time I use good quality roasted red peppers in a jar rather than roasting them myself. The result is quite similar. Monkfish flesh is covered with a gray membrane that needs to be removed as it shrinks when cooked and looks unpleasant in contrast to the whiteness of the fish. It is not difficult to peel it off, but you may ask the fishmonger to do it for you.
Roasted potatoes are an excellent side choice.
Time: 30 minutes
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tsp pimentón dulce (sweet Spanish smoked paprika)
- 2 large roasted red peppers, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) dry white wine
- 1 cup (240 ml) fish stock or vegetable stock, more if needed
- 1/4 cup (30 g) slivered almonds
- 4 Monkfish fillets, about 2 lbs (1 kg) in total, membranes removed
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped Italian parsley
- extra virgin olive oil to drizzle
Paprika de la Vera is made from red pepper varieties grown in the La Vera community near the town of Cáceres in Spain’s Extremadura. Paprika de la Vera has a smoky flavor and aroma due to the smoke-drying process of the peppers. Its color is bright red. There is a mild version, Pimentón Dulce and a hot version, Pimentón Picante. They are available nowadays in the US in well-stocked supermarkets like Publix and Whole Foods as well as online. In Europe, they are quite common and appreciated for giving a peppery and slightly smokey touch to dishes.
Heat olive oil in a saucepan with a lid over medium heat. Add onion, peppers, garlic, pimentón dulce and salt. Cook stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes or until onion is soft. Add white wine and reduce to half, about 2-3 minutes. Add stock and cover the saucepan. Simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring once in a while. Remove saucepan from the heat and let it cool a bit.
Transfer onion and pepper mix to a blender or food processor and purée it. Add almonds and a good grind of pepper. Pulse until almonds are finely grained. If the sauce seems too thick, add some extra stock to thin it up and pulse again. Return sauce to the saucepan and cook it over low heat. Add the fish fillets to the sauce and cook covered for about 10-12 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish. Adjust seasonings. Remove fish from the sauce and place it on a cutting board. Cut it gently into 1 1/2-inches (4 cm) thick slices. Divide the pepper/almond sauce among the 4 warmed plates and top it with the sliced monkfish. Sprinkle with parsley and drizzle with olive oil. Serve.