holiday dinner 2004
Chef Bradley Ogden

recipe from Bradley Ogden's Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Yield: 6 servings

  • 2 pounds monkfish fillet, skin removed
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 24 fresh mussels
  • 1/8 teaspoon saffron threads (optional)
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 shallot, peeled and minced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • ¼ teaspoon fennel seed
  • 2 bunches fresh spinach, stemmed and washed
  • 2 Tablespoons softened unsalted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped (Dried should not be used; if fresh is not available, increase parsley to 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley

Cut monkfish fillet on the bias into 3/8-inch-thick slices. Season lightly with salt and pepper, brush with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and set aside. Scrub mussels in several changes of cold water and pull off beards. If using the saffron, soak threads in the white wine for several minutes.

When ready to serve, grill the monkfish over hot coals, cooking for several minutes on each side. Remove and keep warm. Heat the white wine in a covered pan with the tomato, shallot, garlic, and fennel seed. Add the mussels and cook over moderate heat until all the mussels have opened. Wilt the spinach in a large sauté pan with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove the mussels from the pan and keep warm with the fish. Swirl the 2 tablespoons of butter into the hot mussel cooking liquid and add the chopped herbs.

Arrange a small bed of spinach in the center of each plate and place the slices of fish over the spinach. Put 4 steamed mussels around the edge of the plate and top the monkfish with a spoonful or so of the mussel cooking liquid, including some of the vegetables from the pan. Be careful to avoid any sand that may be in the bottom of the pan.