Well it’s Friday and time for the seafood meal of the week, although the trout I had last night was delicious while Michelle and Sean had fettuccine. Monkfish was on sale so that’s what I decided to cook with tonight. Monkfish is pretty creepy looking if you saw one in the ocean, an aquarium or even a whole one at a fish market:
Not the prettiest one in the ocean, but it tastes great. It’s sometimes referred to as “the poor man’s lobster” because the tail meat is very similar in texture to a lobster, although with seafood costs the way they are, it’s not really a poor man’s fish. Anyway, I really enjoy the flavor of it and found this recipe for a Bacon Wrapped Monkfish with Beurre Rouge (basically a red butter sauce)
Bacon-Wrapped Monkfish with Beurre Rouge
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup minced shallots
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
4 (6-ounce) monkfish fillets
Salt and pepper
8 thin bacon slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 stick butter, cut into 10 pieces
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
In a small, heavy saucepan, combine the vinegar, wine, shallots and peppercorns. Bring to a boil over high heat, and cook until it is reduced to about 1/2 cup in volume, about 10 to 15 minutes. Strain into a clean saucepan. Season the monkfish lightly on both sides with the salt and pepper. Place 2 slices of bacon on a flat surface. Lay 1 fillet on top, skin-side down, and wrap the bacon completely around the fish. Secure with toothpicks, and repeat with the remaining fish and bacon. In a large, heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the fillets, skin-side down, and cook for 5 minutes on the first side. Turn the fillets and cook for an additional 5 minutes on the second side. Remove the fish to a platter and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm. Bring the wine reduction to a simmer over medium-low heat. Whisk in the butter, one piece at a time, allowing each piece to become completely incorporated before adding the next piece. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon 1 tablespoon of sauce on the bottom of 4 serving plates, and place 1 bacon-wrapped monkfish fillet on top. Spoon the remaining sauce over the fish, and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve immediately.
It’s not a difficult dish to make and doesn’t take long at all. I’ll be serving this dish with some white rice and green beans, but a green salad would go nicely with this dish as well, or this recipe I found, which is for Seared Baby Bok Choy with a Bacon Vinaigrette.
Seared Baby Bok Choy with Bacon Vinaigrette
1 1/2 to 2 pounds baby Bok choy, parboiled and shocked
4 slices of bacon, finely chopped
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
5 tablespoons vegetable or corn oil
Cut the bok choy in half lengthwise and put the cut side down on paper towels to drain. Meanwhile. put the bacon in a small pan over medium-high heat. When it starts to sizzle, reduce the heat to medium and cook until crisp and the fat is rendered, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the vinegar, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then whisk in 3 tablespoons of the oil. Set aside.
Put a large skillet over high heat. When it’s very hot, add the remaining oil and put a few pieces of bok choy, cut side down, in the pan (it will spatter, so be careful!). Do not overcrowd the pan; you want at least one inch on all sides between the pieces. Cook the bok choy without moving it until the cut side is dark brown and slightly charred. Continue cooking the bok choy in batches. Pile the seared bok choy on a platter in a serving bowl; give the bacon vinaigrette a stir and drizzle it over the bok choy. Serve warm or at room temperature.
You could substitute Napa cabbage, endive or radicchio for the bok choy if it’s easier to get one of those vegetables. As far as the “shocking” that is mentioned in the recipe, it’s quite a simple process and produces, nice, vibrant vegetables. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and salt it well. Set up a large bowl of water with lots of ice cubes. Drop the vegetables into the boiling water. After about 30 seconds, start testing – you can poke with a thin-bladed knife or taste; you’re looking for the vegetable to be just about tender, but not quite. When that happens, take the vegetables out with a strainer, tongs or slotted spoon and put them in the bowl of ice water for a minute or two. When they’ve cooled down, remove them from the ice bath and drain in a colander. Squeeze the drained greens tightly to remove as much water as possible then chop, slice or cook the vegetables according to the recipe you are using.
That’s all there is for tonight. We didn’t really get to talk about next week’s menu yet, other than the St. Patrick’s Day meal for next Saturday, but hopefully I will have everything to post for tomorrow’s blog entry. As always, all questions and comments are welcome. If you are looking for a recipe for something, let me know, I may be able to find one for you. Until tomorrow, enjoy your meal!