Monday, December 21, 2009

I've Returned

After a long hiatus from blogging due to law school finals, I am back.  I know that my priorities have been all out of order this month, but I'll get back into the flow of things now that I have nothing else to do but apply for jobs.  Anyway, I left off blogging on my favorite day of the week...the ever popular Fish Tuesday, and for that I apologize.

I went to the Fish Guy Market located at 4423 N. Elston ( for their $10 fish.  On this day, they had the most incredible selection of fish that I have ever seen there.  They had skate, monkfish, hamachi, bluefin tuna, and halibut, among many others.  I had recently seen a recipe for roasted monkfish, plus I have always wanted to try cooking monkfish, so that was my clear choice.  I headed home with my monkfish ready to rock its face off.

When cooking fish, it is almost always a good idea to do a quick cure in salt for about 10 minutes.  To do this, generously sprinkle kosher salt on both sides of the fish and let it sit on a plate for 10 minutes while it comes up to room temperature, then wash it off with cold water.  Monkfish; however, is a very thick piece of fish, so you may need closer to 30 minutes.

Here is how I did the fish.

Roasted Monkfish (serves 2)
1 lb monkfish tail fillet, cut crosswise in half
canola oil
kosher salt
4 cloves of garlic, smashed, skin left on
1 tspn dried thyme
4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut in half
extra virgin olive oil

1.  Generously film a large saute pan with canola oil, and heat it over medium-high heat until the oil just starts smoking.
2.  Put the monkfish pieces in the pan rounded side down.  Cook for about 3 minutes until it is golden brown.
3.  Add in 2 tbsp of butter and allow it to melt, then add in the other 2 tbsp of butter and let it melt.  Continue to cook the first side for another couple minutes, basting constantly once the butter has browned.  Tilt pan if necessary to prevent butter from burning.
4.  Flip the fish over and continue to baste for 3 more minutes.  Add the garlic to the pan and cook for another 1-2 minutes.  The internal temperature should be about 145.
5.  Transfer the fish with the garlic to a plate and cover with foil for about 5 minutes.
6.  Plate the fish and drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil on it.
7.  Spoon some of the pan sauce over the fish.  Serve with wedges of lemon and peas.

The crust on the fish was excellent and contrasted with the soft interior of the fish.  The lemon and peas gave it some additional elements of flavor.  If I could do anything differently, it would be cook the fish for about 30 seconds less on each side, to prevent the fish flesh from toughening up.  As I cooked it was not very tough, but it could have used a slight amount less cooking to make it perfect. 

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