Shallow Fried Fillet of Monkfish with Mustard & Cucumber Sauce

The types and cuts of fish used and the principles and practices outlined also apply to this style of cookery with the following exceptions:
(a) The most striking difference between traditional methods and Nouvelle Cuisine is that within the latter the fish in some instances when making hot dishes is only lightly cooked. The finished item is glassy to look at and resilient or springy to touch.
(b) Shallow fried fish is not passed through flour prior to cooking. In order to prevent sticking during cooking a non-stick frying pan is used.
(c) Roux and flour based sauces are never used. Sauces are made from fish stock, wines, vegetables and herbs using the traditional methods outlined in this chapter, namely the reduction of liquid and the addition of butter or butter and cream to the reduced liquid. (There are other methods of making sauces as accompaniments, of course, according to the creative ability of the chef.)
(d) Some leaders in the field of Nouvelle Cuisine do not permit any dish to be gratinated.
(e) Fish and fish sauces are never cooked until required; they are always produced to order.

Makes: 10 portions. Cooking time: 30 minutes.

Ingredients:

— 10 x 85 grams fillets of monkfish
— 3 dl oil
— 50 grams butter
— 1 juice of lemon
— 50 grams chopped shallots
— 2 dl dry white wine
— 3 dl fish stock
— 2½ dl cream
— Dijon mustard
— seasoning of salt and cayenne pepper
— 1 unpeeled cucumber free from seeds and cut into strips
— 1 sprig dill

Method:

(1) Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan. Place in the seasoned fish presentation side down. Fry, then turn when colored and continue to fry. Add the butter and lemon juice and continue to cook until the fish is just cooked.
(2) Place the chopped shallots and white wine into a shallow sided saucepan. Boil and reduce by half. Add the fish stock, boil and reduce again by half.
(3) Add the cream, boil and reduce until it reaches a light coating consistency.
(4) Whisk in the mustard, add the strips of cucumber to the sauce and gently simmer for 2 minutes. Season to taste.

Notes:
(1) Take care not to overcook the cucumber in the sauce. It should be allowed to impart its flavor to the sauce but should remain crisp and green.
(2) Each brand of Dijon mustard will give a slightly different flavor. Choose one that will give a slightly fruity and not too sharp flavor.

Service:
Remove the cucumber strips from the sauce with a perforated spoon, place in the center of each plate and pour a little of the sauce around. Neatly arrange the fillets on top of the cucumber and decorate each with a small sprig of dill.

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