Monkfish Medallions with Fennel and Tomatoes
Monkfish is a mildly flavored white fish with a firm texture that holds together nicely when cooked in liquid. We sliced our fillets into medallions, dredged them in flour, browned them in a combo of olive oil and butter and finished by simmering them in a little white wine. We served the medallions topped with a fragrant mix of sautéed fennel, garlic, onion and tomatoes.
- 1 lb monkfish fillets
- Kosher salt
- Flour for dredging
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- For the topping:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1 small bulb fennel, very thinly sliced
- 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Fennel fronds, chopped for garnish
Remove any bits of gray membrane that might be on the outside of your monkfish fillets with a sharp knife. Slice the fish into 1/2-inch thick medallions and season them lightly on both sides with kosher salt. Set aside while you make the topping.
Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the fennel and continue cooking until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes, season to taste with salt and pepper and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a covered dish to keep warm.
Wipe out the pan and heat the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Lightly dredge the monkfish medallions in flour and place them in the pan in a single layer. Cook just until they turn light golden in color, about 1-1/2 minutes per side. Season with a few grinds of black pepper, then add the wine. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce has thickened and the fish is cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes longer, turning the medallions over several times in the process.
To serve, plate the fish, top with the tomato-fennel mixture and sprinkle with some chopped fennel fronds.
Makes 4 servings
More About Monkfish:
The monkfish, or anglerfish, is a frightening looking fish with an enormous, gaping mouth filled with long, spiny teeth. They can grow to be quite large, but only the tail is edible.
Monkfish is sometimes known as "poor man's lobster," perhaps because it's occasionally cooked along with lobster to stretch a dish, and it absorbs some of the crustacean's rich flavor. On its own, however, the taste of monkfish is exceedingly mild.
Choose fillets that are white to pinkish in color. It's important to remove any tough, gray membrane on the outside of the fillet if your fishmonger hasn't already done so.