Smoky Monkfish, Mussels, Clams with Muhamarra Red Pepper Dip


  • Olive oil, as needed
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, chopped fine
  • 1 tablespoon shallot, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon smoked pimenton
  • Fresh thyme, as needed
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 26-ounce boxed or canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 pound monkfish
  • 9 littleneck clams, scrubbed
  • 9 mussels, scrubbed, trimmed
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Parsley leaves, as needed, minced
  • Crusty country bread, toasted
  • 1/2 cup muhammara roasted red pepper dip, recipe follows


Warm olive oil in large Dutch oven and sauté onion, shallot and garlic until aromatic. Stir in red pepper flakes, pimenton and thyme. Add wine and simmer until almost evaporated, add vegetable stock and juice from the tomatoes and simmer.

Cut monkfish into chunks and generously season with salt and pepper. Drizzle oil in a skillet and when smoky, sear monkfish until caramelized and nicely marked. Add tomatoes and clams to the pot first. As they open, add mussels. As they open, add monkfish and cook through. Serve stew in big, wide bowls with minced parsley and toasty bread on top.

Scoop a spoonful of muhammara red pepper dip onto the toast and some into the stew. Makes 3 servings.

To make muhammara red pepper dip: Place 10 ounces roasted red peppers, 4 ounces toasted walnuts, 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper; 2 tablespoons bread crumbs and 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses in a food processor. Pulse to mix and slowly add ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil.

Chef Mac Hey, Mac’s Seafood, Wellfleet, MA, from Food Fanatics Magazine