Friday, March 27, 2009

Monkfish with fried potatoes, baked asparagus and Nantua Sauce

The Monkfish is called the lobster among fish, and here in Norway it is nearly as expensive as lobster. At Erling Moe in Oslo I paid a staggering NOK 340 / €37 per kilo, but it was worth it. It is an exquisite fish with a firm consistency and a delicate taste, and it ended up as a delicious dinner March 20th.

You need around 300 grams or 10z monkfish per serving.

Season with pepper, salt, lemon and dill, or choose your own favourite fish seasoning. I used Tone's Salmon and seafood seasoning, that I bought in the United States, containing dried onion, garlic, lemon peel, dill and other spices.

Fry the fish in butter 4-5 minutes on both sides, until lightly brown, then place in the oven at 180 C / 260F for 8 minutes. My slices were rather thick (5 cm / 3 inches), and you may have to adjust your cooking time according to the size of your fish.

Do not overcook!

Nantua sauce

When I visited Lyon, May 2008, I did some grocery shopping at Monoprix the day I left. Among the products I brought home with me was this can of Nantua sauce, a French classic based on a traditional béchamel, mixed with cream, crayfish butter and crayfish tails.

This particular product, from Monoprix Gourmet, contained 24% lobster, 8% crayfish, creme fraiche from Normandy, white wine, tomato concassée, cognac, seasoning, chicken stock and butter AOC from Poitou-Charentes. Seriously yummie.

I opened the can, and had a taste before I started to prepare it. I found the original product contained too much salt for my taste, so I decided to add a little sweet chili, single cream (10%) and a little more butter at the end of the preparation. This turned the content of the can into a revelation, and the sauce was served in my 150 year old Staffordshire pottery.

You certainly need some greens to such a fish, and what is better than asparagus. A British friend of my sister taught me how to bake asparagus. Bend them until they snap, as that is where the soft part of the asparagus ends and the woody starts, and you will certainly not eat the tough, woody part of the stalk. Alternatively, you can peel the lower part of the asparagus.

Sprinkle with oil seasoning and bake in the oven for 10 minutes with some thinly sliced potatoes.

I am very happy to say that I still have a small slice of Monkfish left and some sauce in my freezer and I will make myself a treat later!

1 comment:

John said...

I tasted Nantua sauce a looong time ago in Peru (of all places) at one of Lima's finer restaurants. I've wondered ever since how that sauce is made. I found out later that a sort of shrimp-butter is used but the process seemed time consuming. I'm going to have to try baked asparagus one of these days. :-)