Inspired? Hardly. Delicious? Very.
Monkfish with Almond-Tangerine Sauce

Monkfish with Tangerine Almond Sauce

So, lately we’ve been experiencing a certain degree of apathy with regard to food. Maybe it’s the time of year or the grind of work, either way, it’s not a great place to be for us, and hopefully somewhere we will leave soon. Nonetheless, sometimes inspiration can strike, and delicious, seasonal citrus fruit can be the spark.

Now, I use the word inspiration somewhat liberally here because really, all this dish is, is lightly fried monkfish medallions over a mix of Israeli and regular couscous. The “inspired bit”, if you will, is the sauce, an olive oil, tangerine, and Marcona almond emulsion.

Fried Monkfish Medallions with Mixed Couscous & Almond Sauce
Monkfish with Tangerine Almond Sauce

  • 1lb monkfish tail, sliced into 1 inch (2.5cm) medallions
  • 3oz Israeli couscous
  • 3oz regular (or flavored) couscous
  • 1 large bunch white chard or escarole (chicory)
  • 2tbsp golden raisins
  • 6 tbsp whole marcona or other whole large almonds (1 tbsp chopped)
  • 3oz your best extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tangerine, supremed, and juiced
  • 1 handful good black, or kalamata, olives
  • 3tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 12 oz vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4tbsp plain flour
  • juice of 1/2 lemon


  1. Cook couscous with stock according to directions on package, or eyeball it if you’re feeling fancy.
  2. In a blender grind all but 1 tbsp almonds, before drizzling in olive oil and tangerine juice. Taste and correct seasoning accordingly.
  3. When couscous is cooked, stir in parsley, olives and remaining lemon juice. Correct seasoning if necessary.
  4. Heat a frying pan to medium-high and add 2 tbsp regular olive oil
  5. Sprinkle with salt and a squeeze of lemon juice, before dredging monkfish medallions in flour and egg.
  6. Gently fry monkfish until golden brown on all sides, and remove to a cooling rack.
  7. Add another tbsp olive oil to pan and add chard. Sweat until limp before adding golden raisins, tangerine segments and the chopped almonds.
  8. Arrange all these delicious elements artfully on a plate before wolfing it down with a chilled Albarino.

26 thoughts on “Inspired? Hardly. Delicious? Very.
Monkfish with Almond-Tangerine Sauce

  1. I just made a great cous cous to accompany lamb, I think next time I will use the big Israeli pearly stuff, I love it, but it’s so hard to find in the burbs (I think Whole Foods carrys it).
    You need to be a food stylist. Great presentation!

  2. I love monkfish, for some reason I rarely cook it at home. I definitely want to try this though, I’ve been really into marcona almonds these days.

  3. To me, the best dishes are the ones that come together easily and don’t use too many ingredients and yet they are colorful and delicious. So this recipe is perfect for my recipe list 🙂 Great pics!

  4. Lang – thanks for the heads-up. We were ignorant of said monkfish’s provenance with me foolishly believing the US catch to be line-caught as I have witnessed off northern Spain. That’s a great site and one we’ll be revisting prior to our next trip to the fishmonger.

    Stacey – hope you can find the larger couscous (the Lebanese variety is even larger), because not only is it delicious and toothsome like other pastas, but you can try all kinds of fun things with food coloring to make faux-caviar for blinis etc.

    ben/sara/natasha – thanks for the kind words. I encourage everyone to follow Lang’s link to find out about why you should adapt our recipe and not actually be eating monkfish. (pulls Debbie Downer face)

  5. I have a theory about apathy at this time of year, it’s a nessesary dip or lull if you like, before we all kick aside the root veg and heavy clothing and start bouncing all over the place like spring chickens yelping the sun and flinging basil all over the place.
    I like this happy pile, it all looks pretty inspired to me but then maybe I don’t get out enough and i’ve never heard of Israeli couscous – i don’t get out enough.
    top photo.

  6. I like monkfish, although it is definitely not the poor man’s anything. Not as cheap other fishes fishes.
    What are those little orange flecks in the couscous? More couscous? The almonds?

    Whatever they are, this looks friggin’ delicious.

    I’ll eat it. Although I refuse to be inspired. jk.

  7. rachel: you’re so right. but i feel like in rome no one feels this way bc, well, you’re in rome!

    katie: yeah, you’re right, it ain’t that cheap. and now that i know it’s not really sustainable, i may never eat it again. damn it! the “orange flecks” in teh couscous is are actually colored or “flavored” couscous (not sure if it’s just for color or for flavor).

    joan: jonny was feeling tired and sick when he wrote that. we’ll never REALLY be apathetic to food!!

  8. Glad you like the Seafood Watch site. I find it invaluable for making good purchasing decisions. The toughest part is trying to get the fish provenance out of the fishmonger–either they simply don’t know or they try to BS you (the unscrupulous ones, that is). With a lot of species you just need to know where it was caught, but with some–like monkfish–it helps to know the method. I’ve read that hook-and-line is okay, though where I am (Seattle) they’re not likely to know how an Atlantic fish is caught. Oy.

  9. I hear you on being “meh” with food at times. Love monkfish but have only made it once and it was anything but cheap! This recipe sounds fabulous — tons of great flavors on that plate.

  10. This fish was on our “must try to see what it’s like” list, but after Lang’s comment, we will be careful of where it’s from. Like the tangerine touch. The Albarino sounds like a perfect match, too. Todd.

  11. These flavors are are amazing! What a delicious-looking recipe. I’ve been cooking more and more with citrus and I’m a huge fan of olives and raisins. This is very inspiring. Thanks for the great post!

  12. I would definitely use a recipe like this. It is inpsirpation indeed. The emulsion is a great idea and would probably go well with many things. I know my husband would love the fish.

  13. You are feeling unispired? I never thought I’d see the day. Perhaps it is the winter. I’m so ready for spring (in terms of weather, not the date). Perhaps the first farmers market of the season will snap you out of your funk. Unfortunately here, the first farmer’s market is not until the first week of May, but I can feel warmer weather coming!

  14. Looks wonderful of course! Pretty inspiring to ME! And your Ugli plate… ha ha. Never heard of an Ugli but it is a beautiful appetizer you came up with.

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