Now that he’s got three restaurants in his empire (Lumière, Area Four and A4 Pizza) chef-owner Michael Leviton has made the leap from Best Chef Northeast nominee to semifinalist for Outstanding Restaurateur. Upgrade your cooking skills similarly with this monkfish stew from his repertoire. In this recipe, chorizo lends spice to a hearty stew made with kale, mussels and white beans. Pair it with a sturdy, white wine like Chablis or an aged white Rioja from Spain.
- 6 ounces spicy Spanish chorizo, cut into 1/4” thick coins
- 1 cup red onion, diced
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 12 ounces mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 14 1/2 ounce can of San Marzano tomatoes, drained and diced, liquid reserved
- 1 quart kale, washed, stems removed and cut into 1.5 inch squares
- 1 cup cooked cannellini beans
- ½ cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 pound cleaned monkfish – cut into 8 to 10 roughly equal pieces
- Heat a large sauté pan or sauce pot (roughly 12” diameter) over medium heat.
- Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and then the chorizo. Cook the chorizo for about 2 minutes so that some of the fat renders out and the chorizo is warmed through. Remove the chorizo from the pan with a slotted spoon and reserve.
- Add the onions and garlic to the pan with a generous pinch of salt. Cook the onions and garlic, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes, so that the onions soften and just begin to brown a bit around the edges.
- Add the mussels and white wine and increase the heat to high. Cover the pan and cook until the mussels have opened, about 5 minutes.
- While the mussels are cooking, put a strainer in a large bowl, and when the mussels are cooked, drain the contents of the mussel pan into the strainer. Reserve both the solids and liquid.
- When the mussels are cool enough to handle, remove them from their shells (discard the shells) and reserve in a separate bowl.
- Return the liquid and the solids (but not the reserved mussels) to the pan, add the beans, kale, tomatoes (and their liquid) and stock. Cook covered over low heat until the kale is almost cooked.
- Meanwhile, pat the pieces of monkfish dry with a paper towel and season generously with salt and pepper. Heat a medium to large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the remaining olive oil and then the monkfish. Cook the monkfish for about 2-3 minutes on one side until the pieces are golden brown. Carefully turn the pieces over and cook until golden brown on the second side.
- Transfer the monkfish pieces to the pan that is cooking the kale and tomatoes.
- Then add the reserved mussels. Stir gently to combine everything and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Turn the heat off and re-cover the pan and let the dish rest for a few minutes.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning with sea salt and freshly ground pepper if necessary.
- Serve family style in a large bowl or deep platter, or divide equally among four large, shallow bowls.