2 1/4 pounds monkfish fillets, cut into 2-by-1-inch pieces
Freshly ground pepper
2 dozen small littleneck clams, scrubbed and rinsed
3 medium leeks, white and light green, sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 cup Aioli
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
How to Make It
Brush both sides of the bread with a little olive oil and toast until golden. Lightly rub each crouton with the garlic clove.
Heat the 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large nonreactive skillet. Sprinkle the monkfish with pepper, add it to the pan in an even layer and cook over moderately high heat until browned on 1 side. Turn the monkfish and add the clams, leeks, thyme, saffron, crushed red pepper and wine. Cover the skillet and cook until the clams open, about 8 minutes.
Remove from the heat and add the Aioli. Gently shake the skillet and stir the sauce with a wooden spoon until it thickens and coats the fish and clams. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt.
Serve in warm shallow bowls, sprinkled with the parsley. Pass the garlic croutons separately.
Choose a good rosé from Provence, such as the Domaine Tempier Bandol, Ch&âteau de Pibarnon Bandol or, if you're not feeling so flush, the Château Revelette Coteaux d'Aix en Provence. Any of these wines and this hearty seafood stew, which is thickened with a garlicky mayonnaise, will temporarily transport you to the south of France.
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