Posted on: June 22, 2009

Lotte Nicole!

Also called monkfish, lotte or baudroie in French, this excellent  —not so good looking— fish belongs to the Lophius family. The firm consistency of its flesh resembles lobster meat. The liver, cheek and tail are eaten. The head is rarely seen at the fish store. The tail is the piece most often available for purchase. I got mine at the Bay Ridge Green Market and it was beautiful. Monkfish has been my favorite sea fish since I was young. Back then it was because there were “no” bones  — only one big central bone that is easily removed, but none of those little sneaky ones.  The meat can be roasted whole or cut into chunks. It can also be sautéed, skewered, poached, broiled, pan fried & served with all kinds of sauces. My choice today was: roasted, wrapped in duck bacon, tied with garlic scape.

Monkfish or Lophius

I shared this dish with my friend, poet Patricia Spears Jones, and I would appreciate it if she would comment on it. Meanwhile you can read one of her great poems here.

Preheat oven 375º
Cut the fish into equal chunks.
Coat an oven proof dish with extra virgin olive oil.
Wrap the pieces with duck bacon, or regular pork bacon (though the duck bacon gives it an interesting flavor)
Tighten with a garlic scape ( if already a little hard peel the scape)
Cut little pieces of bacon, sprinkle on top.
Add salt and fresh ground pepper.
Put into the oven for about 20/25 minutes.
Serve with boiled potatoes if it is a main course.

Garlic Scapes
Garlic scapes

Note on Garlic Scape:
Often just called “scapes”, these beautiful curly  greens are the flower stems that are snapped off the garlic in early summer in order to give more energy to the bulb to grow. Their taste is
milder than garlic bulbs. They can be chopped and used in stir fry like green beans or asparagus. A real delicacy, and I look forward to see them at the Farmers Market or Food Coop every June. (For more info read this article on Mother Hearth News).

lotte aux pousse d'ail

3 thoughts on “Poor’s Man Lobster & Garlic Scapes

  1. Anne Byrd at 10:29am June 22
    I just last night made the garlic scapes recipe that you link to in this post! It was excellent, though of course I didn’t have the special cheese from Cyprus (just subs. another goat cheese) and I cut the sugar in half (and glad I did — I don’t usually like sugar in anything tomato-y; caramelizing as it calls for here made it pretty great, but 2x the sugar would have been way too much). Next time I have some of the scapes I’ll try your recipe…

  2. Victoria C. Barlow at 8:01am June 22
    A yummy looking cuisine-sculpture. I love your blog. How does one get or make “duck bacon”?

    Man, that monkfish is one oogly looking critter. But the meat looks a bit like delectably moist scallop flesh. Scallops are my fave. Mmm!

  3. First, Nicole’s space was both cozy and airy. Her small kitchen contained large worlds of food and tchotkes.
    First the soup she served was flavorful and soothing to my sore throat.
    The monk fisch was delicious. I’d never tasted duck bacon which was as richly flavorful as regular bacon and the garlic scapes were fun to eat. The cool evening air complimented the warm food–the potatoes, the soup, the roasted fish. I thank Nicole for providing me with an adventure in great eating with foods both humble and special. Cozy and airy.

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