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Monkfish Couscous

Yield 4
Firm chunks of monkfish are ideal for simmering in a tomatoey broth flavored with garlic, saffron, cumin, and cayenne. Serve the fish over a mound of steaming couscous to soak up all the delicious liquid.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • About 3 cups water
  • 3 1/2 cups canned tomatoes (one 28-ounce can), drained and chopped, liquid reserved
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon packed saffron threads
  • 1 1/2 pounds monkfish fillets, membranes removed, fish cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/3 cups couscous

How to Make It

  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

  2. Add enough water to the reserved tomato juice to equal 2 cups. Add this to the onion mixture along with the tomatoes, 1 teaspoon of the salt, the cumin, black pepper, and cayenne. Crumble in the saffron. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

  3. Add the monkfish. Cook until the fish is just done, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the parsley.

  4. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil. Stir in the couscous. Cover, remove from the heat, and let sit for 5 minutes.

  5. To serve, mound the couscous onto plates and top with the fish and vegetables. Ladle the liquid over the top and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon parsley.

  6. Wine Recommendation: No meek-spirited white wine for this fish! Choose a full-bodied white with earthy, as opposed to fruity, flavor. Candidates include white Rhône wines from France, southern Italian whites, such as Greco di Tufo, and even Greek whites.

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