The "Poor Man's Lobster," Monkfish in Herb Brown Butter
Monkfish is often referred to as "poor man's lobster" due to its imitation lobster flavor and texture. But there is nothing "poor" about this meal. This is a great recipe to try if you've never cooked monkfish before because it's straightforward and demonstrates the fish's delicious potential. There's a good reason why upscale eateries consistently order monkfish as a main course.
Preparation instructions for monkfish
The flesh of the monkfish, also known as the stargazer in Australia, is similar to that of the more expensive lobster. Monkfish has a sweet, clean taste that is not fishy when cooked, and a similar, meaty texture to that of other fish. Fillets of monkfish are as meaty and substantial as those of lobster.
My preferred method of cooking lobster tails inspired this monkfish recipe: pan-frying in a Herb Brown Butter Sauce. This classic sauce can be used with any type of seafood. Brown butter adds that extra dimension of flavor because of its intense nutty flavor compared to regular melted butter.
It takes no more than 15 minutes to prepare, making it ideal for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. I also include a visually appealing presentation that I think would be perfect for upscale restaurant menus featuring this Monkfish dish.Traditional restaurant preparation for monkfish includes butter basting during pan searing. Unlike other fish, monkfish fillets can be sliced into visually appealing thick pieces.
Ingredients for a monkfish dish
The ingredients for this monkfish dish are listed below. This is delicious with monkfish, which is what I used, but any fish that can be pan-seared would work. In addition, you can find the Salmon iteration of this dish over here.
This is a monkfish, or "Stargazer" as it's known down under.
The deep-sea fish known as monkfish (typically imported from New Zealand and sometimes referred to as "Stargazer") is readily available at Sydney's fish markets. The fish has thick scales and a huge, ugly head that not even its mother would adore. Because of this, it's always skinless fillets for sale in this region. Despite its unappealing exterior, monkfish is highly prized as a table fish due to its exceptionally tasty flesh.
In the past, you may have disregarded monkfish because it is an unfamiliar fish. Yes, but not anymore It's a clean-tasting fish, perfect for those who are sensitive to or dislike "fishy"-tasting fish, and the lobster-like qualities of the flesh only add to its overall appeal.
It's also a great fish to "do fancy" with because of how simple it is to prepare and present in a visually appealing manner. The fillets have a similar shape to pork tenderloins in that they are thick and cylindrical, and they are long, making them easy to cut into uniform pieces and present attractively on a plate. (At the end of the post, you can see my attempt at plating nicely.) The largest monkfish fillet shown above and below weighs in at only about 200 grams (7 ounces) for the entire fillet. The weight of the smaller of the two is around 100 grams (3 In total, you get 1 1/2 fillets (or about 300g/10oz. That's a standard serving of fish, which for 2 people is between 150 and 180 grams (5 and 6 ounces).
For pan-searing, they're best cut into large(-ish) pieces because this ensures that they'll cook all the way through and is easier to handle. Here's a picture of the area where I snipped them off:
Filleting a monkfish for a quick pan-searTwo monkfish fillets, one whole and one half, are displayed in the top image. A pan-seared version is pictured in the bottom photo, which I prepared by cutting them.
Needed However, Elsewhere
The olive oil is used to pan-fry the fish. The fish is cooked in oil, and the butter is saved for the final step as a finishing ingredient due to its propensity to burn if overused or cooked at too low a temperature.
To make the sauce for this fish, you'll need butter, specifically a brown butter sauce. Leaving melted butter in a pan long enough to develop a nutty flavor is all it takes to make this. In spite of its name, it changes to a yellowish-gold hue. To put it another way, brown butter is so delicious that it has earned the nickname "liquid gold."
To add flavor and a nice sheen to the fish, we'll be spooning hot butter over it as it cooks in this recipe.
The fish is enhanced with the flavors of garlic and thyme from the butter used to prepare it. We leave them in the pan whole and remove them before serving to avoid any burnt bits in the sauce.
Not required but always appreciated, fresh herbs add both visual appeal and a burst of flavor. Here I've used a classy herb blend of parsley, chervil, and chives. In part because I'm currently enjoying their company thanks to the fact that they're both flourishing in my herb garden
You could use just about any of these herbs, or none at all. The simplest form of French burnt butter sauce is called beurre noisette. A great basic sauce for fish, ravioli, chicken, and omelets, here's my recipe. )
The monkfish is elevated from ordinary to extraordinary by a simple restaurant trick: basting it with butter infused with garlic and thyme while it cooks. Imagine all the wonderful things that happen to the monkfish as the butter melts and permeates its nooks and crannies.
Pro chefs use this easy method to add flavor and speed up the cooking process for fish in restaurants. Even if you've never cooked before, you'll be able to do this and feel like a pro.
Prepare the monkfish fillets by cutting them into pieces of similar size so they will cook in about the same amount of time. If you buy fillets, their size and your method of cutting will determine how many pieces you end up with. See above for a photo of how I prepared the fillets I bought.
Inject some salt and pepper on both sides of the monkfish fillets. It will adhere to the flesh without any pretreatment with oil;
To pan-sear, heat oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat (or medium heat, if your stove is powerful). Start by adding the thickest fish pieces to the pan. Then, after waiting a minute, throw in the tinier bits from the ends. Two minutes later, flip everything and continue cooking;
Butter should be melted and added after the fish has been flipped. Put in the garlic and thyme when it begins to melt;
Always be basting Tilt the pan and begin spooning the butter over the fish as soon as it has melted and foams. Butter adds a layer of richness to the fish's flavor and helps the surface layer absorb seasoning. The fish will cook more quickly and uniformly if it is bathed in the hot butter before being cooked.
Monkfish should be basted for 2 minutes, or until it reaches 55 degrees Celsius (131 degrees Fahrenheit). This results in a medium-doneness fish with no rare or raw spots and at its most succulent. When the butter turns brown, it takes on a nutty aroma.
If you don't have a meat thermometer, you can tell if the meat is cooked by checking to see if it easily flakes apart at the thickest part;
Put the fish on a rack to cool for three minutes.
Herbs: Season the remaining butter in the pan with the herbs. Place the monkfish on plates and top with the butter. Recipe suggestions are provided below.
Each serving of this Herb Brown Butter recipe yields a little over 1 tablespoon. It may not seem like much, but that's really all you need. Extremely luscious, brown butter It's 100% real butter and has a deeper flavor than just melted butter alone.
- Fine dining with monkfish
- Pea puree adds flavor and texture, much like a second sauce.
An elegant monkfish dish suggestion
The fillets of monkfish are so dense and meaty that they can be cut like a steak. Restaurants are taking advantage of this trend by presenting monkfish in stunning new ways.
The dish pictured above is my attempt at plating monkfish in a fine-dining fashion. The contrast between the black plate, the bright green pea puree, and the white Monkfish is stunning. Here's the recipe for success:
Next, after the monkfish has rested, cut it in half lengthwise. 5cm (1 inch) cubes Fish should be held gently with the fingers and a sharp knife should be used to ensure clean cuts;
Serve monkfish pieces atop a bed of pea puree (as shown, or in any creative way you like). ); and
Pour hot Herb Brown Butter over the top. Garnish with dill, parsley, or chervil, or use none of them.
What a world of opportunity – Nagi x
Learn the steps by watching this video.
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- Make fillets by slicing each monkfish into three or four even pieces. (Note 1)
- Season by sprinkling salt and pepper on both sides of the fish.
- Fish resting rack: set up a rack above a tray (not required, see Note 5).
Preparing monkfish for eating (Note 2):
- To heat oil, place oil in a nonstick pan and set it over medium heat (high for weak stoves).
- Put the thickest pieces of fish into the pan first so they can get a good sear before you flip them. Wait 1 minute, then incorporate the thinner slices. (Note 4) Wait 2 minutes, then switch the fish over.
- Baste the meat with the butter you just added to the pan. Garlic and thyme should be added once the melting has begun. Tilt the pan and begin spooning the butter over the fish as soon as it begins to foam. Do this until the meat reaches 55°C/131°F (Note 6) on an instant-read thermometer or easily flakes apart, which should take about 2 minutes. Butter will develop a nutty aroma; this indicates that it has begun to brown.
- Put the fish on the rack and let it chill for three minutes.
- Season the remaining butter in the pan with herbs. Herb Brown Butter goes great with monkfish.
Fine dining presentation is an option.
- Break the monkfish in half lengthwise. Cut into 1" / 5cm-sized pieces Serve atop a bed of pea puree and dot with Herb Brown Butter. Garnish with dill, parsley, chervil, or any combination thereof (optional).
Calories: 308 cal (15%) Carbohydrates: 1 g Protein: 21 g (42%) Fat: 24 g (37%) "Saturated Fat" 9 g (56%) Trans Fat: 1 g Cholesterol: 66 mg (22%) Sodium: 319 mg (14%) Potassium: 592 mg (17%) Fiber: 1 g (4%) Sugar: 1 g (1%) Vitamin A: 474 IU (9%) Vitamin C: 4 mg (5%) Calcium: 26 mg (3%) Iron: 1 mg (6%)
Keywords: Poor man's lobster, monkfish, and monkfish recipes
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