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.
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.
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).