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Monkfish Stew

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion -- sliced
2 cloves garlic -- minced
3 tablespoons ouzo or pernod
3/4 pounds potatoes -- peeled cut into 1/2-inch cubes - 2 cups
14 ounces diced tomatoes -- drained
16 ounces clam juice or 2 cups homemade fish stock
1 1/2 pound monkfish membrane removed cut into 1-inch pieces
4 cups spinach leaves -- washed and torn
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves -- slivered plus additional whole leaves -- for garnish
2 tablespoons lemon juice or to taste
salt & freshly ground black pepper -- to taste


1. In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add liqueur, potatoes, tomatoes and clam juice or fish stock. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the potatoes are just tender, about 10 minutes.


2. Add monkfish. Return to a simmer and cook, covered, until the fish is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted, 2 minutes. Add slivered basil leaves, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Garnish with a few whole basil leaves and serve.


Makes about 8 cups, for 4 servings.

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