Pan Roasted Monkfish with Cabbage and Bacon

seared salmon with brussel sprouts and mustard sauce

Here is a great recipe for monkfish using Savoy Cabbage. Savoy Cabbage has a round head with crinkled leaves. It is a mellow-flavored cabbage that is considered by many to be one of the best of cabbages for cooking. Savoy has a loose, full head of crinkled leaves varying from dark to pale green. The leaves should be crisp, not limp, and there should be no sign of browning. Savoy Cabbage holds for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.


Service for 4

1/4 pound highest quality smoked bacon cut into 1/4 strips
2 cups vegetable stock (or fish fumet)
2 teaspoons grape seed (or corn) oil
1 head Savoy Cabbage
1 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour for dusting
4 servings monkfish (tail) fillet 
salt and white pepper to taste
1 teaspoon coriander or chervil (optional and to your taste)


1. Put the bacon in a skillet over medium heat and and saute until lightly brown. Set the bacon aside on a paper towel. 

2. Core the cabbage and remove the very green outer leaves. Pull off about 6-7 large leaves per serving. Cut out the white center ribs. Stack a few leaves together, roll them up, and cut the roll across into 1/4 inch slices. Repeat with the remaining leaves. 

3. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the cabbage slices for about a minute. Drain and refresh under cold water.

4.To a medium saucepan add the vegetable stock and the (1/2xxxx) bacon and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes till the stock is reduced by half. Strain, reserving the bacon for latter use. Return the reduced stock back to the saucepan.

5. Preheat the oven to 525F

6. While the oven is heating up bring the stock back to a boil. Add 1/4 cup of butter (a little at a time, whisking constantly, until all the butter is incorporated.

6. Dust the monkfish fillets with flour, salt and white pepper. Shake off any excess flour. 

7. Heat 2 fry pans and coat them each with 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil. Heat the oil till near smoke point and then add the 2 monkfish fillets to each skillet. Sear till brown on one side then turn them over. Put the fish in the heated oven to roast for about 8 minutes or until done. Check by cutting a thin sliver into the thickest portion of the fish. (NOTE -- do not put non stick pans in an oven over 425F)

8. Heat the cabbage with 1/2 of the sauce and the reserved bacon. Warm the remain 1/2 cup sauce for garnish use..

Original Recipe from:
Le Bernardin Cookbook
Maguy Le Coze and Eric Ripert
Doubleday Books, New York

See also: Butter Poached Monkfish with Peas and Carrots