Monkfish in Brandy Sauce

This dish is terribly simple to make, and oh so delicious! This is a dish from my adoptive land: Spain. It’s called “Rape con Salsa Costa Brava” which means Monkfish with Costa Brava Sauce. Costa Brava is the northern Mediterranean coast line between Barcelona and France. Where the Famous #1 “El Bulli”restaurant is… or was should I say… In other words, a quite special place!monkfish

Last weekend, I was actually on the Costa Brava for the birthday of my step brother, living it up by a calm and clear water creek of Joncols, at the end of the Cap Creus, right next where Salvador Dali is from. We went on a kayak tour and ended up on a big rock by the sea to check out the view… when I saw… the famous “Fonoll de Mar” or Sea Fennel in the cracks of the rocks. I took a few leaves with me, brought them back home, wash them up and then pickled them in cider vinegar and salt, for 2 days. The sea fennel grow particularly well around the mediterranean coast, may month is the prime time for it. This is the green sided herb you see in the picture, I thought it would complement my Costa Brava Sauce perfectly.

Monkfish in Brandy SauceThe Costa Brava Sauce is mainly fish stock, garlic, tomato purée and brandy. The Monkfish is called the “chicken of the sea” here, because it has a fairly similar texture to chicken and also it doesn’t have the usual form of a fish with all the bones, it has 1 main back bone, so it make it easy to devour. It’ s a quite popular fish in Spain, most of the time you’ll simply find it grilled with a splash of olive oil and parsley.

So let’s make that delicious Monkfish in Brandy sauce!

Monkfish in Brandy Sauce

Makes 4 portions

  • 800g of Monkfish (200g each)
  • 250ml fish stock
  • 80ml brandy 
  • 350g tomato paste
  • 2-3 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 green onion finely diced cuts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp of estragon
  • 1 tsp of sugar free dark chocolate or 1 tbsp of cornstarch (mixed into cold liquid first)
  • salt and pepper
  • Extra, a few big prawns or shrimps

Bring the oven to 180°C (350F)

  1. Wash you fish, take of the skin, dry up and salt, pepper it.
  2. In a large pan, medium high heat, cook the monkfish in the olive oil until lightly colored on each side
  3. Reserve the monkfish in a oven resistant pot, which is deep enough
  4. Add the finely diced onion, garlic and brandy (be careful) to the pan, let flame the brandy a minute or two
  5. Add the fish stock, tomato fried paste (tomate frito), or simply tomato paste, estragon and let reduce the sauce for 10 minutes
  6. Pass the sauce through a sieve to make it smooth and uniform *optional
  7. Add the sauce to the fish and cook for 15 minutes in the oven at 180°C (350F)
  8. Fry in a pan prawns or a few shrimps to accompany the dish, 1-2 minutes on each side, season with salt and paprika (pimenton picante)

Serve on an olive oil mashed potato bed. Enjoy!

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