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Monkfish Bourride Information

The Bourride de Baudroie, or Bourride Setoise is a traditional fish speciality from the Southern town of Sete. The Languedoc Roussillon Bourride is a classic Mediterranean fish stew or soup often compared to the Provence Bouillabaisse from Marseilles. But what makes the difference with other fish casseroles is that the original recipe from Sete exclusively includes fresh monkfish from the region.

The southwest Bourride originates from the traditional Mediterranean gastronomy. It is actually knowns as "Bourride de Baudroie" since "baudroie" refers to the Provencal name for monkfish. Indeed, the speciality from Sete is highly inspired by the Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur food traditions.

According to Languedoc Roussillon's legends, the Bourride was originally a rich fish dish highly renowned for being fit for gods. Thus it is believed in the South of France that the Greek Gods would come to Marseille to relish the delightful Bourride when they got bored with Olympus!

Less complicated and expensive than the Marseille Bouillabaisse, the Southwest speciality consists in cooking white fishes with the well-known aioli sauce and a mix of fresh vegetables.

The traditional Setoise recipe includes a fish stock made with filleted monkfish, onions, garlic and sliced leeks and potatoes. The fillets are steamed before being baked in a garlic and olive oil sauce, with all the vegetables and aromatic herbs. In some other cities of Southern France, the Bourride stew is purgent with saffron or white wine.

The convivial fish dish is eventually accompanied with a bowl of aioli mayonnaise to spread on slices of French bread toasted or fried in olive oil, just as the French gourmets do with the Brandade de Morue. In some gastronomic restaurants in Languedoc Roussillon, they like to serve the broth first, on its own, then the fish and vegetables and finally the aioli with bread.

If you want to read more about it, you can have more information about Languedoc Roussillon Gastronomy.

Monkfish Bourride Recipe

Monkfish Bourride Ingredients

1/2 baguette, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for croutons
1 garlic clove, peeled
2 1/4 pounds monkfish fillets, cut into 2-by-1-inch pieces
Freshly ground pepper
2 dozen small littleneck clams, scrubbed and rinsed
3 medium leeks, white and light green, sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 cup Aioli
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Monkfish Bourride Cooking Method

Brush both sides of the bread with a little olive oil and toast until golden. Lightly rub each crouton with the garlic clove.

Heat the 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large nonreactive skillet. Sprinkle the monkfish with pepper, add it to the pan in an even layer and cook over moderately high heat until browned on 1 side. Turn the monkfish and add the clams, leeks, thyme, saffron, crushed red pepper and wine. Cover the skillet and cook until the clams open, about 8 minutes.

Remove from the heat and add the Aioli. Gently shake the skillet and stir the sauce with a wooden spoon until it thickens and coats the fish and clams. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt.

Serve in warm shallow bowls, sprinkled with the parsley. Pass the garlic croutons separately.

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