Monkfish After

And ended up pretty! Poached monkfish with a tomato basil risotto and a beurre blanc sauce. Finished with basil oil.

Although this dish seems a lot more complicated than the cold soup from the other day, I was a lot more calmer/confident in the kitchen while making it. That toothbrush mustache chef just does something to unnerve me!



  • 2 monkfish carcasses
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 3 stalks celery chopped
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 3 springs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 6-8 peppercorns

Combine all ingredients into a larger enough saucepan (cut up the carcasses). Bring to a boil and leave to simmer for 1 hour. This will be used to poach the monkfish. Depending on the size of the fish, should take about 15 minutes to cook.

Tomato Basil Risotto


  • 2# plum tomatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1# arborio rice
  • 2 ounces chopped basil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 8 ounces white wine
  • 4 ounces butter
  • 1 quart of warmed chicken stock
  • 4 ounces marscarpone cheese
  • Salt, pepper, and Parmesan

Cut tomatoes into halves. Set on a roasting rack and roast at 375 for about 20 minutes until skins begin to blister. Add garlic cloves to roasting rack (they only need 10 minutes). Set aside for 15 minutes in a covered mixing bowl (use saran wrap to cover). At this point, the skins will come off easily. Puree tomatoes and garlic and set aside to fold into finished risotto.

Saute onion in half of the butter. Deglaze with white wine. Add rest of butter and saute rice for 1-2 minutes until completed coated with the butter/wine mixture. Add 4 ounces of stock at a time constantly stirring. (If this is done in a saute pan this process goes really fast). Add more stock as the liquid gets absorbed by the rice. Cook rice to al dente (with a bite!).

Finish by folding in tomato puree and marscarpone cheese. Season with salt, pepper, and a little Parmesan to taste. (Remember that Parmesan is salty). Add chopped basil.

Beurre Blanc Sauce

Beurre Blanc is essentially a wine reduction sauce finished with lots and lots and lots of butter. It goes great with fish and complemented the acidity of the tomato basil risotto well in this dish.

Poached Monkfish

Simply bring the pseudo bouillabaisse to a simmer (not a boil!!). Season monkfish with a little salt and pepper — the sauce has plenty of flavor. Add pieces of monkfish for about 15 minutes. This produces a very clean, not overwhelming, piece of fish.

Basil Oil

Simple in theory. Blanche and shock a few basil leaves (to get that great green color). Heat about 16 ounces of olive oil in a small sauce pan. When hot, add basil leaves and take off heat. Let sit like that for about 1 hour. Puree the oil and basil in a food processor. Strain through a chinois or coffee filter. Great garnish for the dish since it will float nicely on top of the beurre blanc.


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