Mario Batali: Monkfish alla diavola

Mario Batali makes Monkfish alla diavola at the 2009 F&W Classic in Aspen.

Mario Batali makes Monkfish alla diavola at the 2009 F&W Classic in Aspen.

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I took filet of monkfish. You could use any kind of firm fish, but I'm a big fan of monkfish because it's virtually impossible to overcook. I'm going to cook it only on the one side, then I'm going to finish it in the sauce that I assembled. Dredge it with a little bit of flour. Cook with extra virgin olive oil. We don't use anything else in any of our restaurants to cook with except for in the deep fat fryer where we use extra virgin olive oil. And I'm gonna put these in one of the big keys to all great cooking. Is to put something down in the pan and let the pan do the work. Meaning once you give it a little move like that Don't mess with it. What you want to do is allow this to kind of change and fundamentally when you're talking about cooking, it's about transferring heat, but it's also about transferring something to the caramelized point. And when you can bring something so that the temperature's radically changed on the outside to form that crust. That's what makes it different from home cooking. Home cooks will put this in the pan, they won't have the courage to let it just sit there and turn very dark golden brown. They will move it more quickly just because they're so excited about the whole dish. Learn to let the pan do the work. It's not so much about us, it's about the stuff that you put in there, and understanding that is where you wanna get. Now what I did is I took the fish out. I kept it raw on the top side there, because we don't wanna over cook it, even though we know that we can, because it's mump fish. I put jalapenos. I put garlic. I put scallions. They would probably not use a jalapeno in the cooking of Rome. That said, they might put [UNKNOWN] or [UNKNOWN], which is the little red chiles from outside of Latsio, and all the way down into Calabria. You'll want to sweat those just a little bit and then you're just gonna take a touch of wine. So what you really wanna do is do the wine that you're drinking for an [UNKNOWN] or your breakfast wine for that matter. [LAUGH] We're going to take a little basic tomato sauce, keep in mind the fish cookery of Italian food is not about deep intense sauces it's about a little bit of a condiment, so now what I'm going to do So I'm gonna take that monk fish, and I'm going to lay it back in that sauce. [SOUND] And we're just going to heat that through. [SOUND] So now I take that, I add a little bit of those scallions at the end. Take a little bit of extra virgin olive oil. About quarter of a teaspoon. [LAUGH] Turn off the heat and what we've created now is because I made that tomato sauce reduce a little bit with the wine, what you'll get is what I really prefer. The idea of a completely homogenous or emulsified sauce for the fish is not what I like, so what I wanna see is this sort of broken almost stainy, see how it looks like the oil, like a broken vinaigrette a little bit? That's what we want be right now cuz we're looking for those little pockets of flavor we're not looking for something to be Ubiquitous, or to be completely the same all the way around it. We're looking for a little whimsical bite of tomato, perhaps a little bit of the oil, a little hunk of the jalapeno, and not too much of the sauce. [APPLAUSE] Thank you all very much, we'll see you at the bar later on!
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Mario Batali: Monkfish alla diavola


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