Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Monkfish with Tomato Sauce

Monkfish is a milky, meaty delicacy that apparently goes for $15 a pound and is called poor man's lobster. I guess it rings true that I never look at prices when I food shop because when the fishmonger put these tails on the scale I was basically like, "Oh shit, I'm about to spend $20 on fish. I don't even know how to cook fish." But pride stepped in and there was no turning back.
Earlier in the morning Charlie and I had run rampant at the Saturday Farmers' Market. We got sweet peppers and plum tomatoes to make into a sauce. Monkfish with tomato sauce it is.
We added boiling water to a bowl of six plum tomatoes and 5 smaller tomatoes and let them sit for a few minutes to loosen up the skins. I peeled and cored each tomato and Charlie crushed them in the bowl with his hands.

We started the sauce by cooking half a chopped onion, 2 cloves of garlic, half of a jalapeno and a chopped sweet red pepper on low heat for about 10 minutes until translucent. We then added the crushed tomatoes, basil, a bay leaf and a bit of red wine and let that all come together for about 20 to 30 minutes. 

To cook the fish, we salted the filets about an hour before cooking to draw some of the excess moisture out. This didn't work. We put the filets on a frying pan on the stove for about two minutes on each side, and lots of water began to release from the meat. We thought we ruined the fish and tensions were running high. We wiped away excess moisture and moved the filets to the oven on 425 degrees for about 6-8 minutes until they had a little color. 
Everything turned out OK! We all came out alive! I think we narrowly missed disaster but you couldn't tell while eating. The fish was meaty, tender and moist and went really well with the sweet sauce. I think a nice red sauce could go with any white fish and I'd probably pick a cheaper one next time so when I inevitably screw it up it won't feel like I lost my life savings (which $20 basically is right now.)


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