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Slice and pound, it's monkfish scaloppine.

Monkfish, sometimes called poor man's lobster, may have acquired its nickname not just from its delicate flavor and its lobster-like texture, but from its shape. Unlike thin, flat fish fillets, monkfish (or angler) fillets are more like giant lobster tails, with one end thick and rounded, the other tapering and flat.

Because of their shape, monkfish fillets are difficult to cook evenly unless sliced, One way that works well is to slice the fish at an angle, cutting thin scaloppine-like pieces. With a flat mallet, gently pound the slices to flatten to an even thickness, then quickly saute. Serve plain, or embellish with a chunky olive and red pepper sauce or shallot and thyme sauce.

For bigger slices, ask for a large fillet, 1 to 1 1/2 pounds. The fillets are encased in a tough grayish membrane, which often is partially or completely removed. If not, have it removed at the market. Or do it yourself: lay the fillet on a board, then pull and cut the membrane off one side. As you slice the fillet, you'll be cutting the flesh free from the membrane on the opposite side.

Monkfish Scaloppine

1 large monkfish fillet (1 to 1 1/2 Lb.)

All-purpose flour

1 to 2 tablespoons butter or

margarine

1 to 2 tablespoons salad oil

Salt and white pepper

Lemon wedges Pull and cut off the tough membrane, if present, covering one side of the fillet. Lay monkfish on a board, membrane side down. With a sharp knife, starting 3 to 4 inches from the tapering end of the fillet, cut toward this end at about a 45 degrees angle to form 1/4- to 3/8-inch-thick slices; as you come to base of fillet, angle knife to slice flesh free of the membrane on bottom. Slice fillet until you reach the thick end and pieces become too short for large slices. Cut remaining triangular chunk from membrane; discard membrane. Cut almost through the thickest part of the chunk; open at cut to flatten.

Place fish slices between sheets of plastic wrap. With a flat mallet, gently and evenly pound slices to make about 1/8 inch thick. Coat fish with flour, shake off excess, and lay pieces in a single layer on waxed paper.

Place a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat. Add about 1 tablespoon each of the butter and oil. When butter melts, lay as many fish pieces in pan as will fit without crowding. Cook, turning once, until fish is opaque when cut in center, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes total. Place on a warm platter and keep warm. Cook remaining fish, adding more butter and oil as needed. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Serve witb lemon wedges. Makes 4 servings.

Monkfish Scaloppine with Olives

Monkfish scaloppine (recipe

precedes)

2 tablespoons olive oil or salad oil

1 small red bell pepper, stemmed,

seeded, and diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 can (6 oz.) pitted black ripe olives,

drained

1/2 cup chopped parsley

1/2 cup regular-strength chicken broth

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Prepare monkfish scaloppine; keep warm. In the same pan used to cook fish, combine oil, red pepper, and garlic. Stir over medium beat until pepper is limp. Add olives, parsley, broth, and lemon juice. Boil on high heat, uncovered, until liquid is reduced by half. Spoon sauce over fish. Makes 4 servings.

Monkfish Scaloppine with Shallots

Monkfish scaloppine (recipe

precedes)

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

3/4 cup finely chopped shallots

1/2 cup dry vermouth

1/2 cup regular-strength chicken broth

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/2

teaspoon dry thyme leaves

Fresh thyme sprigs, optional

Prepare monkfish scaloppine; keep warm. In same pan used for fish, melt the butter over medium heat. Add shallots and stir until limp. Add vermouth, broth, lemon juice, and minced thyme. On high heat, boil, uncovered, until reduced by half Spoon over fish. Garnish with thyme sprigs. Makes 4 servings.
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Publication:Sunset
Date:Jun 1, 1986
Words:666
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