Monkfish Paillards With Fennel Citrus Salad
Executive chef James Morris of Braemar Country Club in Tarzana, Calif., cuts thin paillards and pan-fries this meaty fish, which tastes like a cross between white fish and lobster. He celebrates the bounty of winter citrus with a juicy fennel citrus salad, a perfect complement to the crispy fish.
2-1/2 pounds monkfish tail, skin removed
1-1/2 cups Wondra flour
2 oranges, navel or Valencia
2 blood oranges
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Fennel Citrus Salad (recipe follows)
seeds from 1 pomegranate
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
Cut the monkfish into 12 pieces, each 2-3 ounces and about 1-inch thick. Place the fish paillards between two layers of plastic wrap, and lightly pound with a meat mallet to flatten.
In a large bowl, add the Wondra flour. Zest the skin of the grapefruit, one orange, and the blood oranges, and add the zest to the flour. Reserve the whole grapefruit, orange, and blood oranges to make the Fennel Citrus Salad.
Heat a large nonstick pan on medium-high heat with the olive oil until the oil is just rippling. Season the fish with salt and pepper and lightly dredge through the flour mixture. Cook the fish on one side 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Flip and repeat on the other side. Blot fish on paper towels.
To serve, top with Fennel Citrus Salad and pomegranate seeds, and lightly drizzle with pomegranate molasses.
Yield: 6 servings
FENNEL CITRUS SALAD
reserved grapefruit, oranges, and blood oranges from above recipe
3 clementines, peeled
2 fennel bulbs, sliced thinly or shaved crosswise
1 shallot bulb, finely minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
salt and pepper
Working over a large bowl, supreme the citrus, letting the fruit and juices collect in the bowl. Add the fennel, shallot, olive oil, and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper and let the salad marinate in the refrigerator while you cook the fish.