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Pan-Fried Monkfish with Shiitakes

  • SERVINGS: 4
  • FAST

  1. 1 pound spinach, large stems discarded
  2. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 2 tablespoons finely chopped lean bacon
  4. 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  5. 3 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
  6. 6 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, caps finely chopped
  7. 2 small tomatoes—peeled, seeded and finely chopped
  8. 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  9. 1 1/2 pounds well-trimmed monkfish fillets, cut into sixteen 1/2 -inch-thick medallions
  10. Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  11. 2 teaspoons finely chopped chives
  12. 1 teaspoon finely chopped tarragon
  13. 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, divided in half
  14. One 8-inch square sheet of nori (pressed seaweed), cut into 4-by- 1/2 -inch strips
  1. Heat a large skillet. Add the spinach by the handful and cook over moderately high heat, tossing with tongs, until wilted. Transfer to a colander, rinse under cold running water and gently squeeze out the excess water.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the bacon and shallot and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is browned and the shallot is softened, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken stock and mushrooms and simmer over moderate heat until the mushrooms soften, about 7 minutes. Add the tomatoes and soy sauce and cook over high heat until the liquid is reduced by one-third, about 4 minutes.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil until almost smoking. Season the monkfish with salt and white pepper and add 8 of the medallions to the skillet. Cook over moderately high heat until nicely browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn the medallions and cook until just opaque throughout, about 1 minute. Transfer the medallions to a warm platter, cover with foil and repeat with the remaining monkfish and oil. Wipe out the skillet and add the cooked spinach. Cook over high heat, stirring, until warmed through. Season with salt and white pepper.
  4. Bring the mushroom sauce to a simmer. Add the chives and tarragon and whisk in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Season with salt and white pepper. Mound the spinach in the center of 4 warm plates; top each mound with 4 monkfish medallions. Spoon the sauce over the fish, sprinkle with the nori strips and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Tyrrell's Vat 47 Chardonnay and the Morgan Monterey Chardonnay have the full flavor to stand up to the butter-thickened sauce served with this fish.