8 Buyers, 1 Store, 8000 Wines

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

On 12:17 PM by The Bloggers @ 67 Wine in , ,    No comments
Sunday night dinner - I rode up to Fairway for some fresh fish, and monkfish is one of my favorites. The complete recipe is on the website.

I combined bits from several different recipes to come up with the final version. The steaming method came from Cooks Illustrated (no surprise there) and it worked really well. I lined a steamer basket with fresh basil (from my the pot in my window), lemon slices and the shallots left over after I used what I needed for the sauce. It went into a pot with about an inch of water and steamed for 12 minutes. Tom Colicchio, on an episode of Top Chef last season, went on at some length about letting monkfish rest before serving, so that was also part of the plan.

I started the sauce right before I started steaming the fish. I started off by sautéing the shallots in butter, then adding the garlic (tip: add a bit of water to the crushed garlic and it won't burn nearly as fast). I then added flour to make a roux, letting it cook for a minute on medium low heat, not letting it brown. Into that went 1/4 cup of Fino Sherry, and a 1/4 cup of milk. At this point, you have to whisk briskly so the milk is properly incorporated; at first, it looks sort of broken into fine grains. Once it smoothed out, I added a pinch (about 10 threads) of saffron. It then simmered on low heat, whisked often but not constantly, while the fish steamed.

After I took the steamed fish out of the pot, I left it on the steamer basket to rest. I then added 1/4 cup of the steaming liquid (now flavored by the basil, lemon, shallot and fish) to the sauce. I cooked it over medium low heat until there was about  1/4 cup of thickened liquid in the pan.  I turned the heat as low as it would go, and added 1/2 a stick of cold butter, one teaspoon at a time. I whisked it constantly at this point until the butter was completely incorporated. I added the juice of half a lemon (still whisking) and about 1/4 teaspoon of white pepper, and voilá.

It would be best served with a nice Chablis, but the Quincy (100% Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley) we served with it was excellent as well.


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