Stephanie Izzard. The only female to win Top Chef. Owner and Chef of Girl and the Goat in Chicago. Author of Girl in the Kitchen. I’m a big fan. I received this book for Christmas last year, and couldn’t be more excited. Over the past year my Amazon Wishlist keeps growing with more and more cookbooks. Although there is a wealth of culinary knowledge and opportunities, there will never be a substitute for a physical, bursting-at-the-seams with deliciousness cookbook. I love them.
I dove right into this book and looked over EVERY recipe, with the equal thoughts of “OH MY GOD THAT LOOKS SO GOOD” and “WHAT THE HELL IS _____”. What I mean is that this is the type of cookbook that uses a lot of the more obscure ingredients that you wouldn’t normally have in your pantry. Or, at least I wouldn’t and don’t. It’s intimidating, and sometimes you just can’t find the ingredient (fortunately, I haven’t had that problem since moving to Ann Arbor since this town is any foodie’s DREAM), but it’s really great because it opens the door for some flavors and ingredients you may not have otherwise had the opportunity to taste and use! Just make sure you don’t buy too much and then have no idea how to use the leftovers (ahem…buttermilk…)
I’ve been eyeing the “Linguine with Monkfish and Romesco” for a few months now, and have never even attempted it since it just seemed too time-consuming for the professional gal-on-the-go that I was. Well how do you do Quarter-Life-Retirement! Now that I have the time, I did the crime, er, made this dish. Unfortunately I can’t paste a link for the recipe, and I don’t want to copy it here since you should really buy this book! Try to stay entertained though…
So after reading Stephanie’s great intro to the dish I came to the line about the Monkfish that says “I couldn’t believe something so gnarly looking could taste so good” and I was intrigued. Then I looked up what it looked like. Prepare yourself:
Whole. Ee. Crap. Can you imagine seeing that in real life?! IN THE WATER!?
By now you’re probably asking yourself “Why is she talking about the Monkfish when the title says Wahoo. NOTHING MAKES SENSE ANYMORE” and you’re right, nothing does many sense anymore. But in regards to the fish, it is NOT easy to find the Monkfish. And when you do, it’s pretty expensive ($30/lb), which for me is just out of the question. So I settled on the Wahoo fish since I’ve never had it before ($12.99/lb), and I was told it was a solid-fleshed white fish. Although, the Monkfish apparently has a lobster-like texture so now all I want to do is try it! One day, my friends. I’m not very well-versed with home fish-cooking, so any trip I make to the seafood counter is intimidating, especially this trip since I didn’t know anything about the fish I was looking for. C’mon Erica, you couldn’t take 4 minutes to do a little aquatic research!
Another awesome thing about this dish is that it uses Romesco sauce. I was in Barcelona, Spain for a week this past January, and we had Romesco sauce at least once a day. It’s hard to explain, because it’s like a tomatoey peppery nutty bready thick tasty sauce that goes well with EVERYTHING. Each sauce you’ll have is a little different as everyone has their own recipe. This one, for example, has 19 ingredients (bittersweet chocolate, roasted tomatoes, wine, parsley, hazelnuts, ancho chiles, brown sugar, soy sauce…and 11 others) and it is TASTY. I’m so excited I’ve been able to make this sauce because I’ve been wanting it for over 7 months now.
So…onto the photos
I made the Romesco sauce a few hours before I finished up the dish and *spoiler alert* the whole thing really didn’t take as long as I thought! All these wasted months not making it….all because of my silly false thoughts. This sauce was definitely the most time-consuming portion, but it was not highly involved. Roast tomatoes. Toast Nuts.
Assemble lots of random ingredients that you would never think to put together.
Toss them all into a big pot that was cooking onions and white wine. Simmer for 40 minutes.
Now at this point I’m instructed to ladle the sauce into a blender. I don’t have a blender. But what I lack in blender I more than make up for in food processor and immersion blender. Don’t have an immersion blender? GET ONE. It’s like a hand held blender/whip cream whipper/egg beater/super chopper/more in one! And you know it’s almost squash soup season…the perfect application for Mr. Immersion Blender.
I was a little concerned that the nuts in the sauce would prove to be too much for the immersion blender but it tore through those suckers like nothin’. I’m sure simmering them for 40 minutes had something to do with that.
From there you basically pan fry the fish, sauté the rapine/brocolini, and serve it all together with a light grating of Ricotta Salata (a delightful cheese made from salting, pressing, and drying ricotta. Just delightful). I was actually able to have someone at the cheese counter cut me down a wedge that I would use (I didn’t need a $8 hunk of cheese I don’t typically use…OR DO I).
I have a TON of Romesco left, which is fine with me. I’m planning on getting some fresh artichokes, and scooping the sauce up with the leaves. You can use it like hummus, marinara, or anything else that goes with everything. Everything.