This dish works extraordinarily well because the slight blandness of the monkfish contrasts pleasantly with the acidity if the sauerkraut
Friuli Venezia Giulia
600 ml (1 pint) Chicken Stock
150 ml (5 fl oz) white wine
85 ml (3 fl oz) cream
4 prepared monkfish fillets weighing about 175 g (6 oz) each
4 thin slices of San Danielle ham, weighing about 15 g (½ oz) each
50 g (2 oz) unsalted butter
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE SAUERKRAUT
25 g (I oz) butter
50 g (2 oz) carrot, very thinly sliced
50 g (2 oz) celery, thinly sliced
50 g (2 oz) onion, thinly sliced
225 g (8 oz) sauerkraut
Pre-heat the oven to 200 C / 400 F Gas 6
- For the sauerkraut, melt the butter in a pan, add the carrot, celery and onion and cook gently for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the sauerkraut, cover and cook gently for 20-25 minutes.
- Put the chicken stock, white wine and cream into a wide-based pan and boil rapidly until reduced to 175 ml (6 fl oz).
- Wrap each monkfish fillet in a slice of the Parma ham and tie securely with string in 2 places. Melt 25 g (I oz) of the butter in a large, shallow ovenproof pan. Add the monkfish, seam-side up, and fry for 1 to 1½ minutes, until golden brown. Turn over; transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 10 minutes.
- Remove the fish from the oven, transfer to a plate and keep warm. Add the reduced stock, wine and cream mixture to the pan and stir to scrape up all the crusty bits from the bottom. Strain into a small pan, bring back to the boil and then whisk in the remaining 25g (I oz) of butter. Season with pepper and a little salt if necessary (but remember that the Parma ham is quite salty. To serve, spoon the sauerkraut into the centre of 4 warmed plates. Cut each piece of monkfish on the slant into 4 and place on top of the sauerkraut. Pour the sauce around and sprinkle with the chopped parsley.