Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Monkfish with grilled asparagus and romesco

Here is yet another dish from the Ad Hoc at Home cookbook. The recipe calls for baby leeks, but since those are hard to find, I went with asparagus instead. I used the leftover romesco sauce from the previous blog post, and then I pan roasted the monkfish with rosemary, thyme, and garlic. I bought the monkfish at Isaacson and Stein, where they just sell whole monkfish tails, and they leave it to the customer to actually fabricate the fish. Monkfish are really ugly, prehistoric looking creatures, and a giant fish doesn't really yield that much edible meat. Monkfish are almost all head and jaws connected to a tail that propels said head and jaws towards its pray. With most fish, you can fillet them fairly easily with a couple quick swipes of the knife down each side of the spine. Monkfish are not so simple. I have seen monkfish fabrication as a challenge on Top Chef before, but I had never actually taken apart a monk fish myself.

To prepare the monkfish, remove it from the fridge about 30 minutes before cooking to let it get to room temperature. Season with salt and pepper, and then sear over high heat in a pan with canola oil for a few minutes (after about 3 minutes check to see if a crust has formed). Add 2 tablespoons of butter turn the heat to medium (you don't want to burn the butter) and, once melted, tilt the pan and baste the monkfish as it is frying. Once one side is nicely browned, turn the monk fish, add a couple sprigs of rosemary, thyme, and garlic along with another tablespoon of butter. Continue to fry/baste for another 3 to 5 minutes until the fish is cooked through and a golden crust has formed on the other side of the fish.

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