Olive Oil-Poached Monkfish w/ Lobster & White Bean Salad

Serves 4-6


For Beans

  • ½ cup dried white beans, soaked in cold water overnight
  • enough water to cover beans by 2"
  • ¼ small onion
  • 8-10 cloves

For Sherry Reduction

  • 1 cup dry sherry wine
  • ½ cup sugar

For Vegetables

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small fennel bulb, cored & diced (reserve fronds for garnish)
  • ½ large Spanish onion, diced
  • pinch of kosher sea salt

For Monkfish

  • 4 cups olive oil (for poaching) + 2 tbsp olive oil for searing
  • 4-6 monkfish fillets, 4-5 oz each (a 3-5 lb whole monkfish will yield about 4-6 portions)
  • 1 tbsp kosher sea salt
  • 1 tbsp ground fennel seed
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper

For Lobster Cream

  • 1¼ lb lobster
  • 2 cups heavy cream


Soak, Rinse & Simmer White Beans

  1. Drain and rinse the white beans that have been soaking overnight in cold water
  2. Place beans in a small sauce pot, and fill with water to cover the beans by 2"
  3. Add clove-studded onion to the pot
  4. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer (low boil) 40-45 minutes until beans are soft

Make Sherry Reduction

  1. Heat a small saucepan or sauté pan over medium heat. Add sherry to pan (carefully – the sherry will flame) and mix in the sugar
  2. Simmer (low boil) and reduce down by about one-third which takes about 3-5 minutes
  3. Then set aside to cool

Sauté Vegetables for White Beans

  1. Heat a medium saute pan over medium with 1 tbsp olive oil. Add diced fennel and onions. Saute, moving the vegetables constantly until softened and caramelized, 4-6 minutes
  2. Remove to a bowl and set aside to cool. Wipe pan with paper towel and set aside for later use

Sear & Poach Monkfish

  1. Heat 4 cups of olive oil in a medium stock pot to 110º. The oil should look lightly wavy in the pot
  2. Season all sides of monkfish fillets liberally with salt, ground fennel seed and black pepper
  3. In a large saute pan over medium-high, add 2 tbsp olive oil. Allow oil to almost reach smoking point, then remove pan from heat to add monkfish
  4. Add monkfish fillets to sear, by tilting the pan away from you. Once all fillets are in the pan, rest the pan flat back over the heat
  5. Sear all sides until golden-brown, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove to a cutting board to rest, 3-5 minutes
  6. When slightly cool (but still warm), add monkfish to oil (If you do not allow the monkfish to rest before adding to the oil, the oil will bubble and spit). Allow monkfish to poach in oil, 10-12 minutes. When finished, it is best to remove to cutting board to rest for 10 minutes before plating

Make Lobster Cream

  1. Meanwhile, break the lobster into pieces (claws, tail, body, legs). Slice the body into 4 smaller pieces, break the knuckles back on the claw, and slice the tail in half lengthwise with a heavy, sharp knife
  2. In a stock pot, add lobster pieces and cream. Bring to almost a simmer over medium heat, and allow the meat to cook 5-7 minutes
  3. Remove lobster pieces from the cream (reserving cream in saucepan) and extract the meat from the shell. Cut to medium dice, the approximate size of the vegetables and set aside

Combine Components

  1. Drain cooked beans and discard the clove-studded onion
  2. In a medium sauté pan (set aside from earlier), heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat
  3. Add sautéed vegetables, strained beans, lobster cream, and fennel fronds
  4. Allow mixture to come up to a simmer, then cook 1-2 minutes. Season if desired
  5. To plate, place a large spoonful of lobster cream-white bean mixture on the bottom of each serving dish
  6. Place rested monkfish on top, and drizzle with the cooled sherry reduction, garnish with fennel fronds