Here is a great fish dish from the Catalan repertoire in which garlic is slowly simmered in olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan until “burned” to a rich brown color. Marvelously succulent, dense, and meaty, monkfish benefits greatly from this garlic-infused sauce bursting with the flavors of toasted almonds, tomatoes, clams, and an exciting floral touch of oloroso sherry
Chef Josep Lladonosa i Giro, one of the great living experts on Catalan cooking, told me that the finished sauce must be dark and creamy and have the texture of a béchamel. To achieve this, the cook needs to use a mortar and pestle or an electric mixer to make the finishing picada.
Steps 1, 2, and 3 can be prepared many hours in advance.
The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen by Paula Wolfert. Copyright © 2003 by Paula Wolfert. Photographs copyright © by Christopher Hirsheimer. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.