Monkfish with Chipotle Sauce

Monkfish with Chipotle Sauce

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 Serves 6.
Chipotle chilies are often sold canned in adobo sauce, a tart, spicy tomato-based concoction, in Latin American markets and many specialty-food stores. This recipe calls for monkfish, but any full-flavored fish (Chilean sea bass, for example) that can stand up to the spicy sauce will work well.


For the chipotle sauce:

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 canned chipotle chili in adobo sauce
  • 1/4 cup jarred chopped roasted red pepper
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 Tbs. sour cream
  • 3 Tbs. milk, or as needed
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. lime juice
  • 2 tsp. Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 2 1/2 to 3 lb. monkfish fillets, each about 1 inch thick


To make the sauce, in a small saucepan over low heat, warm the olive oil for 1 minute. Add the garlic cloves, cover tightly and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden and soft, about 20 minutes. Do not allow the garlic to burn. Remove from the heat and let cool.

In a food processor, combine the cooked garlic and oil, the chipotle chili, red pepper and 1/3 cup of the mayonnaise. Process until smooth. Add the remaining 1/3 cup mayonnaise, the sour cream, milk, lime juice and salt. Process until smooth, adding another Tbs. or so of milk if needed to achieve a light and creamy sauce. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until serving.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, paprika, salt and pepper. Place the monkfish fillets in a shallow nonaluminum dish and spoon the olive oil mixture over the top. Turn over the fish to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator 15 minutes before grilling.

Prepare a hot fire in a grill. Position the grill rack 4 to 6 inches above the fire.

If the monkfish is in large pieces, place them directly on the rack. If the monkfish is in small pieces, place them in 1 or more lightly oiled hinged grill baskets. Cook, turning once, until the fish is opaque throughout and firm to the touch, 4 to 5 minutes on each side.

Transfer the fish fillets to a warmed platter. Pass the sauce at the table.
Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Backyard Barbecues, by Phillip Stephen Schulz (Time-Life Books, 1999).
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