Monkfish in American Sauce

A classic seafood recipe that crosses borders

It is one of the most traditional seafood recipes, both the fish and the sauce. Monkfish is ideal for stews or elaborations in sauce but, as with any product of the sea, it is necessary to take care of its cooking so that it is perfect and the result is juicy.

The other ingredient of the recipe is the sauce, made with fumet or fish stock along with different vegetables such as tomatoes, onions and garlic that we will flambe with a touch of brandy and white wine.

They say it was the French chef Pierre Fraisse who first made this sauce that accompanied a lobster back in 1870 when he worked in the United States. Hence its name. In French Brittany, its origin is disputed, as fishermen added some pieces of tomato to lobster or prawn previously sauteed with cognac or wine from the Bordeaux region.

In short, this recipe has crossed borders and preparing it will only take you a few minutes to obtain a delicious and surprising result along with a glass of white wine and a refreshing S.Pellegrino.

Rape en salsa americana
Monkfish in American Sauce

Ingredients for 4 portions

  • 1 kg monkfish tail (boneless)
  • 8 prawns
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 leek
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 50 ml of cognac
  • 500 ml of water
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Wheat flour
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Fresh parsley

Step by step elaboration

  1. Chop the onion, leek and carrot into brunoise, that is, finely. Heat a little extra virgin olive oil in a large casserole dish and simmer over low heat until the onion is translucent.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the tomatoes in half and grate them. Peel the prawns and remove their heads.
  3. Add the tomato and the shells and heads of the prawns to the casserole. Season and saute over medium heat for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add the brandy and flambé, being careful not to burn. When the flame has extinguished, incorporate the water and cook over medium-high heat for 20-30 minutes.
  5. Crush the sauce and pass it through a very fine sieve.
  6. Chop the monkfish tail into squares, season with salt and pepper and cover them in flour. Also add salt and pepper to the prawns.
  7. Heat some extra virgin olive oil and sauté the floured monkfish over high heat, stirring so that it is sealed on all sides. Sauté the prawns too. Don’t cook the monkfish or the prawns, just one minute (or less) is enough.
  8. Add the American sauce to the monkfish and the prawns and cook over low heat for 5 minutes.
  9. Serve immediately, dividing the monkfish into four plates or bowls, decorating with two prawns each and sprinkling with fresh parsley to give them a touch of color.

‘Harmonies in Flavors and Fragrances’ by Juan Muñoz Ramos.

Aqua S.Pellegrino and Albariño for Marimar Torres. We travel from Italy to California where we find a very Spanish and Galician grape like the Albariño that needs to be accompanied by very fine waters that maintain the elegant flavors of its fruit, minerality, reduction, etc. For this we choose the best of the waters, the one that combines the sapidity with the freshness, accompanied by a very fine and soft minerality, perfect to accompany the great wines and also the great dishes. In short, this is S.Pellegrino.

S.Pellegrino y Albariño Marimar
S.Pellegrino y Albariño Marimar

We cannot forget the dish, without it there would be no trilogy of happiness that is our base and our greatest desire for all our friends. From this dish we would highlight the meatiness and texture of the monkfish, the aromas and the intense point of the sauce with the viny note of the brandy that reminds us of Jerez.

Fragrances and flavors that create sensations that encourage us and restore our mood. All that and more thanks to a table where combinations are chosen perfectly.

Try it and you will see how positive it is.


  • If you don’t feel comfortable with the flambé, let the brandy evaporate by cooking the whole thing over high heat for a couple of minutes.
  • You can increase the number of prawns, change to another type of seafood or even use a combination of several different ones.
  • This is a recipe that asks for bread, to dip in the sauce…
  • The sauce can be prepared in advance and you can mark the monkfish and seafood at the last moment, just before serving.
  • Parsley can be substituted with coriander, which brings an exotic touch to the dish.

End this amazing meal with a Red Apple Crumbleclick here to see the complete recipe.

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