Second recipe with this month’s CSA selection: monkfish. Quite easy, small number of ingredients, and yummy.
Monkfish in Tomato Garlic Sauce
Fish CSA, month 2: bacon-wrapped monkfish
Yesterday we received a gorgeous piece of monkfish from our Crossfit South Brooklyn fish CSA, Village Fishmonger.
My plan was to braise it in tomatoes, garlic and herbs, Provençal style. My research into monkfish preparation suggested strongly that cooking the fillets in liquid (whether tomatoes, white wine, butter, etc) was the preferred method. While “braising” might not be the best word here - braising indicates a LONG slow cook, and this fish doesn’t need to be cooked long like, say, a pot roast needs to be cooked long - it does convey the idea of plenty of flavorful liquid. Many other fishies can be roasted in the oven (or sauteed on the stovetop) without a ton of liquid, and provided you cook them the correct length of time, they won’t dry out. Monkfish is a bit meatier and certainly my fillet was quite thick - several inches. Hence the recommendations for a “wet” method.
I was thinking of using this recipe for monkfish in tomato garlic sauce, or this one for a slightly more complicated Spanish-style braise, and I also read this thread on Chowhound.
Armed with this knowledge, I came home with my monkfish and got out a can of Italian plum tomatoes, then opened my fridge for parsley.
I found an open package of Herondale Farm bacon.
I looked at this recipe and this one.
I changed my plan.
With half of my one-pound fillet, I used three strips of Herondale bacon, my personal pan-sized cast iron skillet, and some fresh thyme and oregano I happened to have in my fridge. If you don’t have fresh herbs, just leave them out.
Any oven-safe skillet can be used.
Why didn’t it dry out, you may ask, considering it’s not braised? Answer: the bacon fat keeps it moist.
Bacon-wrapped monkfish, adapted from Jamie Oliver
1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Dry the fish and season it with pepper. The salt will come from the bacon. Chop whatever fresh herbs you may have and scatter them on the fish.
3. Lay a couple strips of bacon on a cutting board, slightly overlapping, put the fish herb-side down on it, and wrap the bacon around the fish. I used toothpicks to secure the bacon, pushing them almost the whole way into the fish so they didn’t stick out much.
4. Pour a small amount of olive oil in your pan and put the fish in, toothpick side down. Note: if you are using Herondale bacon, you only need a tiny film of olive oil, because the bacon will throw off a LOT. If you are using conventional bacon, you need more olive oil. If your pan is nonstick (but oven safe!) you might need hardly any at all.
5. Put the skillet over medium heat for a minute or two to crisp the bacon. Carefully flip it and repeat. Don’t keep it on the stove top too long.
6. Put the skillet in your preheated oven and cook it until the bacon is crisped and the fish is cooked through. Mine took between 10-15 minutes but it was a very thick fillet. Note again that Herondale bacon takes much longer to cook than conventional bacon. I also had to pour off some fat during the brief roasting process.
7. Remove the fish from the oven just before you think it’s completely done, remove it to a plate, and let it rest for 5 minutes.
8. When ready to serve, squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice over the fish and enjoy.
Two Faces of Agriculture: Industrial vs Agroecology -
A crossfit gym with a groundbreaking CSA program (which I manage) explains why the CSA model makes sense.
How happy am I that I froze a bunch of late-summer ratatouille last year….? Just what I needed on yet another cold night. I can see spring from here.
Whitney H’s Roasted Tilefish with Sauteed Vegetables
Whit made a gorgeous looking tilefish dish last night. Here’s what she did:
Roasted Tilefish (serves 2… or 1 plus leftovers)
Village Fishmonger posted the wrong fish on “catch of the day” yesterday, so yesterday’s post about fluke was, in fact, a big fat fluke, because we all received golden tilefish in our shares.
On the positive side, several of us went ahead and cooked this fish last night, so I’ll post the recipes and photos later this afternoon. Sorry for the mix-up!
Welcome to our first CSF delivery: FLUKE!
Fluke is a flat fish with tender, mild white flesh. Recipes for fluke and flounder are generally interchangeable (if you’re interested to know why, read this) so take a look at the following as you think about what to make with your share. Uncharacteristically, I haven’t tested all these recipes, but I did curate the list to include those that looked reliable, tested well, or had positive commentary.
Good methods for fluke include pan-frying, broiling, and baking. Always take care not to overcook fish. Take this advice from Fine Cooking:
"The often-quoted theory of cooking fish for 10 minutes per inch of thickness may be a good guideline, but in reality 8 minutes is a better timeframe in which to at least start checking for doneness.
Fish will continue to cook for a minute or two off the heat. Be sure to stop cooking when the fish is just shy of done; otherwise, it will overcook by the time you serve it.
Use the tip of a small knife to peek at the interior of the fish. Many cookbooks tell you to cook fish until it flakes; this is too long. Once it flakes, the fish has lost too much moisture and will be dry and bland. As you peek, see how easily the fish gives way. It should gently resist flaking but show signs of firming.
Raw fish has a translucent appearance that turns opaque during cooking. Most types of fish are considered done when they’re just opaque throughout. Many people, however, enjoy some types of fatty fish, such as tuna and salmon, a little less done. These should be opaque on the outside but still translucent at the center.”
Remember, if you don’t want to cook it in a day or two, pop it in the freezer and cook it later.
Recipes without wheat:
Pecan-crusted fluke (or flounder)
Baked flounder (or fluke) with fresh lemon pepper
Broiled fluke in lemon butter
Paleo blogger’s Pan-fried coconut fluke
Recipes using flour or breadcrumbs:
Baked fluke with parmesean crumbs from Food and Wine
Scandanavian-style pan-fried flounder with potatoes and parsley
Lidia Bastianich’s Italian preparation for Lemon Sole, which she has also made with fluke
Michael Symon’s Fluke Milanese
What did you make with your fluke?
Broccoli Rabe with Balsamic Brown Butter
Holy cow is this good.
The butter + balsamic combo is absolutely dynamite, and the whole thing takes less than five minutes to make.
Until there are fresh local greens available, this will be a staple in my kitchen.
Broccoli Rabe with Balsamic Brown Butter, from Leite’s Culinaria
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Let the butter remain over the heat until the white solids sink to the bottom and turn a light brown and you no longer hear a sizzling sound, about 5 minutes. Carefully stir in the vinegar (it may splatter) and cook for 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat.
3. Plunge the broccoli rabe in the boiling water and add the salt. Boil, uncovered, until tender, about 2 minutes. Drain quite well and then pat the broccoli rabe completely dry.
4. Dump the broccoli rabe in a serving dish, drizzle with the balsamic butter, and toss to coat. Season, if desired, with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.