I never used to like the taste of fish but over time have come to enjoy it more and more. I still don't have much experience cooking fish, other than shrimp skewers and planked salmon on the grill. Our subscription to HOF began in the dead of winter, so alternatives to grilling became at first a necessity and now a fun, self-imposed challenge -- how will we prepare this week's seafood bounty? -- which will be explored as a recurring feature here at Entertain the Possibilities.
AKA: Allmouth; Sea-devil; Frog-fish
Neighborhood: Northwest Atlantic Ocean from the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence south to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina
Turn-ons: Swallowing prey larger than itself; ‘walking’ on the ocean floor thanks to specially articulated pectoral fins
Grab a bite: The firm, dense tail meat is mild and a little buttery. It stands up well to strong flavors and varied preparations, including Mediterranean, barbecue, roasting, sautéing, and seafood stew.
How about a drink: Due to the meatiness of the fish, both red and white wines will pair nicely but avoid the extremes – neither a super-light white nor a heavy-duty red, but instead choose something in the middle that complements the other flavors in the dish. Maybe a White Bordeaux or a Cotes du Rhone.
- Sauteéd Monkfish Medallions with Leeks and Shitakes, using a recipe from Food & Wine magazine
- Green beans
- Conundrum wine – This was not the ideal pairing, didn’t think it would be, but the tasty, fruity-with-a-tang California white blend definitely hit the spot.
The recipe calls for the sautéed monkfish to sit atop of a stew of leeks, shitakes, butter and wine. Nothing wrong with that! No, there sure wasn’t, that was a delicious base for anything to perch upon – chicken breast, pork tenderloin, any other kind of fish – or nothing at all, just scoop it up with a spoon. That stewy goodness will most definitely be added to the repertoire.
The meal would have benefitted from adding a starch, maybe a rice pilaf or toasted quinoa, to add another texture to the plate and soak up the buttery juices from the leeks and mushrooms. And if we were serving it to guests we’d pick a different wine – maybe a heavier (even slightly oaky) chardonnay or a light- to mid-weight pinot noir.
The Mignardise (a little something extra at the end): For your musical enjoyment (and punning pleasure) may I present --