Recipe: Braised Monkfish With Artichokes, Olive Oil, and Garlic Mashed Potatoes

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This was inspired by the dish I enjoyed in Genoa, at Osteria de Vico Palla. Italians rarely douse the artichokes with lemon, as we do in Greece.

Serves 4

For the main dish:
    • ½ cup olive oil
    • 4 monkfish fillets (about 1 pound)
    • 2 cups coarsely chopped fresh garlic, white plus most of the green part, or 1 tablespoon minced garlic cloves
    • 1½ cups white wine
    • 1½ cups fish stock
    • 6 to 8 medium artichokes, peeled and halved (see my recipe for veal and braised artichokes for the technique)
    • 1½ cups chopped chervil or flat-leaf parsley
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, or, a good pinch Aleppo or pepper flakes
    • olive oil

For the mashed potatoes:
    • 5 medium starchy potatoes, peeled and quartered
    • salt
    • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 pieces fresh green garlic, coarsely chopped, white plus most of the green part, or 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • freshly ground pepper to taste

Prepare the main dish:
In a large, deep skillet or a Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat and briefly sauté the monkfish until opaque. Add the garlic and sauté for two minutes more. Add the wine and as it boils pour in the stock, add the artichokes, half the chervil or parsley, and pepper or pepper flakes, and bring to a boil. Place an inverted heatproof plate over the fish and artichokes to keep them submerged. If needed, add a little more stock or wine to cover the fish and artichokes.

Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the artichokes are tender and the fish is fully cooked. With a slotted spoon transfer the fish and artichokes to a platter. Add the rest of the parsley, keeping one tablespoon for serving, increase the heat to high and boil for a few minutes to reduce the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Make the mashed potatoes:
Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender, about 15 minutes, and drain. Warm the olive oil in a skillet with the garlic, and add the potatoes. Coarsely mash with a wooden spoon, tossing to incorporate the olive oil and garlic. Remove from the heat, add salt and pepper and taste.

Divide the mashed potatoes into four plates. Add the monkfish and a few artichokes on top, and drizzle generously with the sauce. Sprinkle with chervil or parsley and serve.

To read about Aglaia's first successful crop of artichokes, and to see a slide show of how to prepare them, click here.

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Aglaia Kremezi writes about food in Greek, European, and American magazines, publishes books about Mediterranean cooking in the U.S. and Greece, and teaches cooking classes. More

Aglaia Kremezi has changed her life and her profession many times over. She currently writes about food in Greek, European and American magazines, publishes books about Greek and Mediterranean cooking in the US and in Greece, and teaches cooking to small groups of travelers who visit Kea. Before that she was a journalist and editor, writing about everything, except politics. She has been the editor in chief and the creator of news, women's, and life-style magazines, her last disastrous venture being a "TV guide for thinking people," a contradiction in terms, at least in her country. She studied art, graphic design, and photography at the Polytechnic of Central London. For five years she taught photography to graphic designers while freelancing as a news and fashion photographer for Athenian magazines and newspapers. Editors liked her extended captions more than the pieces the journalists submitted for the events she took pictures for, so she was encouraged to do her own stories, gradually becoming a full time journalist and editor. You can visit her website at www.keartisanal.com.


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