Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Easy Dinner: Bacon Wrapped Monkfish Fillets

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As I've written before (Panko Flounder anyone?), I didn't come easy to fish, but nowadays I try to eat it at least twice a week. Most often I buy flounder or scallops or clams or porgies from the fish stand or a bit of salmon from the grocer. In the cooking of fish, I've found it hard to branch out beyond the pan fry. However, last Friday I saw a headline in the most recent issue of Saveur magazine: Bluefish Wrapped in Bacon. Of course we all know bacon makes everything better so I decided that's what we'd have for dinner that night. I didn't read the recipe. I just knew bacon and bluefish would be involved and I'd take it from there.

I took my time at the market, buying a flat of strawberries for jam, lots of herbs, blueberries, sugarsnap peas, romaine lettuce and, of course, bacon. My last stop was the fish stand. Now, they have bluefish every single week and I know this because I always see it on the board, but shy away for no good reason. This was the week I was to boldly stand up and say, "A pound of bluefish, please." And this was the week the lovely fishmonger, whose 25th birthday was Friday, said, "Sorry, we just ran out." I sighed dramatically and then countered, "Well, what would be good wrapped in bacon and roasted." She replied, "Monkfish." Hmm, I've tried cooking monkfish once or twice and it was tough and not very tasty. She assured me that monkfish cooked for 15 minutes at 375 would be tender and juicy.

So I took her word for it, brought home two fillets of monkfish, chopped up some garlic and oregano and made a rub and then wrapped a thick slice of bacon around each fillet. I roasted it for twenty minutes instead of fifteen and all I can say is the monkfish was tender and flavorful and Baby Girl and the hubby both wolfed down their portions. I made a potato, bacon and garlic scape hash (Recipe on Thursday!) and a sugarsnap pea salad to go with it. It turned out to be an amazing meal that helped me break out of my fish (and veggie sides) rut. Hope you'll try it soon!!

Bacon Wrapped Monkfish Fillets
(Monkfish is a very meaty fish and takes extremely well to roasting. Any fish with those characteristic will work well here.) 

What You'll Need:
3/4-1 pound Monkfish fillets (2-3)
2 small cloves of garlic
2 tbsp Oregano chopped
1/8 tsp Salt
2 thick slices of Bacon

Preheat the oven to 375.

Lay the monkfish fillets in a shallow baking dish (I used a brownie pan).

Add the garlic, oregano, salt, pepper and a splash of olive oil to a bowl - just enough to form a light paste. Mix it together and rub it over the tops of the monkfish fillets. Wrap a piece of bacon around each fillet in a spiral. Don't worry about covering the entire fish, just get the bacon from one end to the other.

Pop the fish in the oven and cook for 15 minutes. If the bacon still looks pretty raw, pop it back in for another 5 minutes. Enjoy!!

Approximate Cost:
Groceries: $6
Cost per Meal: Expect 8 servings

This Time Last Year: The amazing Monica Bhide's Paneer with Orange-Apricot Chutney

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  1. Sounds good, but I have trouble with bacon that is not thoroughly, completely, entirely cooked! Any suggestions about how to achieve that?

  2. Sounds delightful. We love to eat smoked fish pie- the fish usually being a local species. The fish is HOT smoked, not cold smoked like lox. Keep your eye out for some as a new fishy adventure.

  3. We have bluefish a lot in the summer. Will have to try this recipe. Thanks!

  4. You are SO making my mouth water. Yes, bacon does make everything better. This is an easy way to achieve that, now isn't it?

  5. Delicious - fish and bacon are two favorites of ours. Thanks!

  6. Lovely! A question...for the non-bacon eaters, what might you suggest for a substitution?

  7. I've never even heard of monkfish, let alone cooked with it. I have to make this sometime -- but only for my husband and me as I know my kids won't try it. They HATE it when I make fish...

  8. Looks great. I love anything bacon wrapped. I do a bacon wrapped pork loin that's tasty.

  9. I've wrapped monkfish (I don't know bluefish - don't see it in the UK) in parma ham or pancetta before, as well as trying it with streaky bacon. I had to do a veggie one for a friend - I wrapped it in spinach but it definitely didn't look as tasty! Will have to make the recipe again but with the rub as well - it looks deliciious!

  10. thinking about the spinach, above, I wonder if you just added the spinach wrap at the very end, so it just wilted. if that might work and look better. also thinking, maybe peppers could work as a sub for bacon -- they seem to roast well usually. peppers and onions together, maybe?

  11. Another fish recipe that I'll be trying. My husband would love the bacon part.



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