On the Line: Inside the World of Le Bernardin by Eric Ripert and Christine Muhlke, reveals the behind-the-scenes of a famous restaurant, and include recipes like Iranian Osetra Caviar Nestled in Linguine with Warm Sea Urchin Sauce; Pan-Roasted Monkfish, Confit Peppers, and Fiery Patatas Bravas with Chorizo-Albariño Emulsion; and Escolar Poached in Extra Virgin Olive Oil with Sea Beans, Potato Crisps, and Light Red Wine Béarnaise.
After visiting the Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona, I decided to pay tribute to Antonio Gaudí, the avant-garde Catalonian architect, with this dish, which combines the strong, pungent flavors of the region. The pimentón (paprika), an essential ingredient in this cuisine, comes spicy, sweet, smoked, or as a combination; we use the spicy version. Ask your fishmonger for monkfish bones.
The Red Sauce
The White Sauce
The Patatas Bravas
The Confit Peppers
The Chorizo-Albariño Emulsion
For the red sauce, combine the peppers, paprika, salt, and Espelette pepper in a saucepan and add just enough water to barely cover the peppers. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the peppers are very soft and the liquid is thick. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Puree the sauce in a blender until very smooth. Set aside.
For the white sauce, mix the mayonnaise, crème fraîche, and lemon juice together in a small bowl. Season with salt and white pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
For the potatoes, cut each potato into 8 long wedges, about 1/4 inch wide (without peeling them). Lay each wedge on its side and cut out the center portion with a 3-inch round cutter; discard the trimmings. Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until they are tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and cool them on a towel-lined baking sheet, then cover with another towel and set aside.
While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the confit peppers: Slice off the skin of the zucchini and julienne the green parts. To cook the vegetables, combine 1/4 cup of the extra virgin olive oil and 1/4 cup of the regular olive oil in each of four small pans. (You can use one larger pan for both kinds of peppers, if you wish, combining 1/2 cup of each oil.) Add 1 garlic clove and 1 thyme sprig to each pan and heat over very low heat. Add one type of vegetable to each pan and cook over very low heat until tender (for the zucchini, this should be 3 to 4 minutes; for the peppers, 10 to 12 minutes; for the onion, 12 to 15 minutes). Drain the vegetables and combine them in a small pot. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
For the chorizoa-Albariño emulsion, put the monkfish bones in a small roasting pan and roast for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the extra virgin olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the chorizo and cook over low heat until it has rendered its fat, about 10 minutes. Add the shallots, garlic, and fish bones to the chorizo and cook until the shallots and garlic are soft. Add the white wine, bring to a boil, and reduce by a little more than half. Add the chicken jus and simmer until lightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and season with salt and white pepper. Emulsify the sauce with a handheld immersion blender.
Heat the canola oil for the potatoes in a deep pot until it registers 400 degrees F.
Fry the potatoes for 5 to 7 minutes, until golden brown. Drain on paper towels, and season with salt.
Meanwhile, to cook the monkfish, divide the canola oil between two large ovenproof sauté pans and heat until the oil is very hot but not smoking. Season the monkfish on both sides with salt and white pepper and lightly dust with Wondra flour. Add the monkfish to the pans and cook until the fish is golden brown. Transfer the pans to the oven and cook the fish for 3 to 4 minutes, or until a metal skewer can be easily inserted into the fish and, if left in for 5 seconds, feels just warm when touched to your lip. Turn the monkfish onto the unseared side briefly before removing from the pans. Allow the fish to rest for a minute before slicing.
While the monkfish is cooking, briefly warm the pepper confit; keep warm.
To serve, arrange 4 potato wedges in a fan on one side of each serving plate. Drizzle them with the red sauce and then the white sauce. Slice each monkfish into 5 to 7 pieces (depending on the size), and arrange the slices on the opposite side of each plate. Spoon some warm pepper confit on top of the monkfish and garnish with the micro parsley. Spoon or pour the emulsion over and around the fish, and serve immediately.
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This page created March 2009
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