Monkfish Cheek Chowder

The weather is so crazy (global warming  😮 ) that it’s hard to decide what’s seasonal and what isn’t.  Not that the season would have stopped me from making this lovely monkfish cheek chowder!  My “monger” had the goods and of course I couldn’t resist, nor did I try.  Rain, smain.  It’s just given me the perfect excuse.  So turn up the air-co and pretend it’s November.

Monkfish Cheek Chowder

1 1/2 lbs monkfish cheeks

2 tbsp butter

1/3 cup bacon, diced

1 celery branch, roughly chopped

1 onion, roughly chopped

Leaves from 1 branch fresh tarragon, chopped

1/2 cup white wine

4 large potatoes, roughly diced

4 cups fish stock

Salt and pepper

1 cup milk

1 cup cream

Lightly brown the monkfish cheeks in the butter, remove and cut into quarters.  Set aside. Add the bacon to the pan and cook until it begins to brown, then add the celery, tarragon and onion and cook until the onion begins to soften.  Add the white wine and boil for 2 minutes.  Set aside.

Put the potatoes in a large stock pot, then add the fish stock, potatoes, reserved vegetables with bacon, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the reserved monkfish cheeks and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

Slowly stir in the cream and milk, heating without boiling.  Serve immediately with slices of country bread.

Wine suggestion:  Bourgogne Aligote

About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
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38 Responses to Monkfish Cheek Chowder

  1. Looks delicious. Chowder always makes me think of New England and as for the word “monger” – where did that come from. One has ironmongers as well as fishmongers so it’s not from “manger”. Answers on a postcard:)

  2. Mad Dog says:

    It’s amazing how lovely monkfish tastes in comparison to its looks. In keeping with the weather I’ve canceled salad and summer – good job I don’t have a coal stove that stays on all day. Great recipe 😉

  3. Thanks Mad. I foolishly stepped out to walk the dog this morning in “summer” clothing, no sweater, sandals. Who knows what to expect anymore.

  4. The wonderful thing about blogging.. your beautiful warm recipe would be perfect here on one of our rainy days:D I’m going to look for some of my own “cheeks” today:)

  5. Wonderful, I adore monk fish…not sure if we can get just the cheeks here…but what a wonderful chowder!

    • When the fishmonger gets his fish in, he will normally fillet and cut the fish up to be sold. He takes the cheeks at this time. Sometimes he will only have a few, this time he had a lot!

  6. Alaina says:

    Lovely plating. 🙂

  7. I’m sure the chowder is tasty and it is cloudy here, but what I covet is your blue dishes.

  8. In Aberdeen (Scotland,UK) where I lived for 7 years, this same dish is called Cullen Skink! 😀

  9. Love fish cheeks and the chowder looks so lovely and sounds it, too. The use of tarragon in this is particularly appealing to me. I’d turn up the air and eat it, too! 🙂

  10. Tessa says:

    Looks delicious! I’d have a bowl of that any time of the year!

  11. Here’s another entry in the I read that too fast at first category. I read Monkfish Cheek Powder initially. My reaction? Rosemary really has everything. Now that I see chowder, I’m still impressed. Quite nice looking.

  12. ambrosiana says:

    I love anything “Chowder” Corn or Clam!!! Monk fish sounds great……why wait ’till November? Excellent post! Air conditioned please!

  13. annashortcakes says:

    What might be an adequate substitute for the monk fish? I can’t get that here sadly.

  14. rsmacaalay says:

    I think I would love the texture of this one, the collagen on monkfish cheeks would give it a good texture like the fish head soups in Asia

  15. Villy says:

    Sounds super delicious, and the texture must be exactly as I like it!

  16. The taste of New England love it!

  17. I’m very fond of monkfish. We used to serve a nice dish of same at our wine dinners when we owned our restaurant. Was always a favorite. Yours looks excellent!

  18. Pingback: concarneau chowder | The Beach House France

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