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Monkfish Medallions with Lentils and Chaource Cream

Servings 6
Author CHEF DENIS CHÂTELET

Ingredients

For the preparation of lentils
  • 2 cups lentils
  • 1 carrot cut (very small cubes)
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 bouquet garni (thyme, 2 bay or sage leaves, a bunch of parsley)
  • 1/2 cup smoked diced bacon
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 quart (32 oz) of chicken broth
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
For the cream of Chaource (If you cannot find Chaource, Camembert is the closest and widely available in the States)
  • 1 wheel Chaource or Camembert of .50 pound
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
For cooking fish
  • 6 pieces monkfish (approximately 5-6 oz each)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp butter
For the garnish
  • Squash seeds or Sunflower Seeds roast in a dry pan for a few minutes over high heat

Instructions

  • In a medium pot, melt the butter, add the bacon and cook until fat is rendered. 
  • Then sweat the chopped onion with the finely chopped carrots, and bouquet garni with the pot covered. 
  • When the onions are transparent, add the lentils. Sautee the lentils with the vegetable mixture for a few minutes, this helps the flavors to meld.
  • Add chicken broth (1 quart)
    Bring to a boil and simmer until the cooking broth is completely evaporated (about 20 min) 
  • Tip from the chef: do not salt the lentils at the beginning of cooking.
  • While lentils are cooking, remove the crust from the Chaource or Camembert and cut it into small pieces.
  • In a small saucepan, heat 1 cup of heavy cream over low heat, then add the small pieces of Chaource or Camembert gently whisking to combine. 
  • You can strain mixture through fine mesh strainer into a smaller saucepan and then add the remaining ¼ cup of cream. Turn off heat.
  • In a nonstick skillet, melt the butter with the olive oil when the butter is hazelnut, sauté the monkfish for about 3 minutes on each side, salt the fish. Once cooked, you can remove the fish and cut the Monkfish into medallions, return to the pan for quick browning in skillet juices. 
  • Turn the burner on low and gently reheat the cream sauce until warm. Using the whisk, stir to combine and keep the heat on the lowest setting. 
  • Season the lentils (salt and pepper if desired, be sure to taste the lentils as the bacon has salt and you might not need much if any additional seasoning.
To serve:
  • In a soup plate or pasta bowl, place a nice scoop of lentils in the center of each bowl.
  • Top with the monkfish medallions. 
  • Using a small ladle, ladle the cream sauce around the lentils. 
  • Top with toasted squash seeds (I used Sunflower Seeds) and immediately serve.  
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