TGIEOT—yes, that’s a bit more than TGIF! It’s end-of-term. The Spring term was the school term from hell, starting right at the end of Fall term! Over the winter break I had unexpected course preparation to do for two online classes—switching from Blackboard to Sakai—for content management. Top that off with an ongoing indexing project, and it’s—well, let’s just say it left very little time for cleaning, cooking, or writing! Then, add to that a hard-drive failure for my computer….but it’s over now.
I’ve taken some time to work on revising the on-deck herb garden since I had plants that needed to go into their home pots, and a couple of days to do nothing but have quality time with the cat. All that has left me yearning for some relaxation time and some really good food—cooked by me.
My day was absolutely made when I got my email delivery of the “Fresh Catch” specials from my local Harris Teeter this morning: they had monkfish! In terms of favorite fish, that’s right up there with Chilean sea bass for me. Needless to say, I scarfed down my morning coffee and headed right off to HT.
Supper this evening was roasted monkfish, with roasted fennel with leeks, garlic, and a dash of red pepper flakes, with a nice un-oaked chardonnay. The fennel was an in-store, spur of the moment thing since it looked so gorgeous.
Even though it is warm this afternoon, I opted to cook in the oven because I wanted roasted fennel as well. I’ve done monkfish in hobo-pack style before but I thought I’d try roasting it this time and see if I couldn’t have a one-pot dinner.
I’d seen a post by Edward Schneider in Mark Bittman’s NY Times column (Diner’s Journal) about roasting monkfish, and the differences in monkfish on both sides of the Atlantic. After reading that I salted my monkfish for about an hour, and then roasted it. I did manage to make a one-pan meal out of it. Since I had to allow about 40 minutes for the fennel to roast, I started that first. After about 15 minutes, I laid the monkfish on top of the leeks, pushing the fennel wedges to the side, and popped it back into the oven for about 15 minutes. I used very simple seasoning on the fish—olive oil and salt before going into the oven, and nothing for than fresh-ground black pepper and a pat of unsalted butter after it came out of the oven. So very simple—so very good, and even healthy.
(The only thing I wish I had done differently would have been to add some sweet red (or orange or yellow) bell pepper with the fennel. A glass of un-oaked chardonnay complemented the meal very nicely.)