Lotte à l’Américaine

Américaine, armoricaine, who cares when the sauce is this good? I wouldn’t smother lobster in this, but I find monkfish on its own a bit dull. This sauce is anything but dull; I don’t think the cream is conventional, but it smooths out the acidity of the tomatoes and gives an extra unctuousness. Steve adapted the first recipe he found when he went to and typed in “lotte”. And it was quick to make; we got home from work after seven, and it was on the table by eight. This sauce would work well with other firm fish/seafood; I can imagine it with squid, for example. Monkfish is on the expensive side, but you do sometimes get tails relatively cheap.

1 kg monkfish
2 tbsp olive oil
75 g butter
6 shallots
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 ripe tomatoes
2 tsp tomato paste
1 glass dry white wine
1 small glass cognac or armagnac
2 tbs crème fraîche
salt and pepper
cayenne or ground chilli

Cut the monkfish into large chunks and remove the skin if the fishmonger hasn’t done it for you. Plunge the tomatoes into boiling water, peel them, squeeze out the seeds, and cut into dice. Chop the shallots.

Heat the olive oil and half the butter in a saute pan and quickly fry the fish over high heat till lightly coloured. Remove with a slotted spoon. Add the rest of the butter and gently cook the shallots and garlic till soft. Add the white wine and cognac and cook for a few minutes to deglaze and reduce slightly. Add everything else except the cream and cook for about 5 minutes. Put the fish back in the pan and simmer just long enough to cook the fish, about 10 minutes. Remove the fish and keep it warm while you reduce the sauce by about half. Stir in the cream and adjust the seasoning. You need a bit of a kick from the cayenne or chilli, but it shouldn’t be really hot — we are in France after all.

4 thoughts to “Lotte à l’Américaine”

  1. Oh, this sounds yum. I imagine the cognac gives a lovely depth of flavour to the whole thing. Now, I have a pack of scallops, squid rings and prawns (fresh) from Marks and Sparks and I was going to do some sort of ‘Spanish Rice’ effort with them tonight, but now I think I will make this sauce. I shall quickly saute the seafood and then add to the sauce and serve with saffron pilaf rice – thanks Veronica!

  2. delicious! Fabulous sauce, and my hunch about the cognac was right – a wonderful, slightly piquant sauce that ‘tarted-up’ the seafood nicely. Thanks Veronica! I like the look of your pumpkin soup too – I have a butternut squash that would respond very well to this treatment too.

  3. This is called “Lotte a l’Armoricaine” which is from Brittany in France where this recipe come from. We eat it a lot there and yes it is delicious.

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