Wednesday, June 22, 2005

a monkfish tale

gigot of monkfish romarin with anchovies, and tomato vinaigrette

i've been longing to make this dish since i first saw the two fat ladies many years ago on the food network.
but the odds of snagging a monkfish tail in this neck of the woods are as long as the lottery when i spotted a few of them at the upscale market in the ritzy town quite a bit of a drive away, i immediately grabbed them. i think the fisherpeople must be delivering them straight to the restaurants these days.
Andreas Viestad showed a live freshly caught monkfish on his Norwegian tourist board cooking show...and one immediately understands why it took so long for anyone to figure out that they were delicious to eat. it looks like it's all mouth with nasty jagged teeth.
"ankoh" teppanyaki table-top grilled, Japanese style, served with grated radish and wasabi, would be my next dream dish if i catch any more. i have yet to taste monkfish liver too...*sigh*
but the meat itself is...dare i say it?....lobster-like. it cooks up white and firm, not flaky, and it was called "poor man's lobster" but now it costs even more per pound. shall we call lobster "poor man's monkfish" then?
Clarissa Dickson-Wright says in the book "cooking with the two fat ladies" that this is a Scots dish.
my husband took a bite and said, "isn't this the way you cook your lamb chops?" i think i've trained him well.

sprinkle the tails with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. marinate in smashed garlic cloves, lemon juice and olive oil at least an hour, turning once or twice.
preheat oven to 350F.
make crosswise slits on the tails, just deep enough to tuck in anchovy fillets.
in an oven proof dish, scatter as much rosemary as you like, place monkfish on top, sprinkle the garlic from the marinade, and the olive oil (plus extra to moisten the rosemary completely).
roast for 45 minutes. remove from oven, let rest 5 minutes, then pour tomato vinaigrette over.

for the tomato vinaigrette:
4 tsps. sherry wine vinegar
2 tbsps. finely diced tomatoes
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil.

mix ingredients in a small saucepan and warm over low heat, stirring.
season with salt and freshly ground pepper.