Say hi to monkfish a.k.a. “poor man’s lobster”. The French cooks call it Lotte de Mer. In the Italian kitchen, it is known as Coda de Raspa, which literally means ‘tail of the toad”. It is abundant at this time of year in New England waters.
One can imagine how easily available fresh fish is in Boston. This is not always so. What has a poor fish cook got to do? In practising what I talk about a lot, I signed up for community supported fishing. Forgive the pun but I hooked up with Cape Cod Fish Share Program. I bought a 5 week share. Forget about frozen fish, forget about supermarket junk fish and forget about the middleman also. If you really, really want to have fresh fish in Boston in late winter/ early spring, this is the way to go. Right now, in addition to monkfish, the fishermen are bringing in cod and scallops. The focus is on quality. I can sacrifice choice for quality any night.
I love brocolli rabe. It is actually a member of the turnip family, technically speaking, but who cares. Anyways, I blanch it and sautee it in extra virgin olive oil usually loaded with garlic and spicy pepper flakes. This is most definitely southern Italian cooking inspired. Did I mention spring previously. I am planning to grow this particular vegetable in my little kitchen garden plot this coming season. Eat it like a leg-breaker. It does a body good.
When I have a piece of fish that is so good and fresh, for me at least, the best way to cook it is as simple as possible. Why? The answer is easy. When was the last time you had super fresh fish here in the city, so……..taste it, taste the monkfish as it should taste without being masked by other over powering flavors or sauces. All you really have to do is cook it the right way. I roasted it in a skillet on top of the stove. And the most important thing is to not overcook this immaculate piece of fish. Afterwards, not only did I drizzle on…….nay………poured over quality extra virgin olive oil and then drizzled with some lemon juice. Thats really all you need and how easy is that. This was supper and took no time to cook, fish and greens.
And don’t forget the olive oil. For the Zen know-how on extra virgin olive oil, see my earliest postings. Eat like a peasant. Thanks for reading my blog.