monkfish, tacos, wild blueberries

Dinner 7/29/09

It started with a quick stop by the Wednesday Farmers Market in Monument Square. A few bulbs of garlic, some red skinned potatoes and a pint of wild picked blueberries from Snell Farms. Later that day, while picking some things up at Whole Foods, I finally gave into the urge to buy some Monkfish, a fish I have never prepared or eaten. I’ve seen it so many times at whole foods and Harbor but, honestly, was always intimidated by it. Part of it is due to the fact that I just don’t cook fish very often and when I do it’s haddock, salmon or halibut. Some research gave insight to the mild, buttery flavor of the fish and, since I kept coming across references to it being a ‘poor man’s lobster,’ I decided to make taco’s with it.

Tacos? Yes, fucking tacos. One, I’ve been eying the talk of the Lobster Taco’s at Grace. Two, I know how to make taco’s and, without prior experience with this ingredient, I wanted to be in a bit of my comfort zone.

The pint of blueberries would be split between a salsa for the fish and a blueberry cream pie, something I make every year when the blueberries hit the market.
The recipes I used are:

Blueberry Salsa

– serves 4 to 6 –
Adapted from My Own Sweet Thyme.

2 cups fresh blueberries, coarsely chopped
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Combine ingredients in a small bowl and let sit for twenty to thirty minutes for flavors to blend.

2. Serve with tortilla chips or over grilled meat as a relish.

****I added a bit of local honey to it as the berries were just a hair under being sweet enough for me.

Monkfish Taco

For Tacos:
2 8-10 oz whole monkfish filets, roughly triangular in shape *
Dry Rub (see recipe below)
1 oz canola oil
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of ½ lemon
Ground Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper To Taste
Serves: 4 – 6 people

Dry Rub:
1 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ancho chili powder
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp cayenne

To Prepare Fish:
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. One a large plate, coat monkfish filets liberallywith dry rub. Heat oven proof, large skillet over medium to medium-high heat until hot. Add oil, swirling to coat pan. Place fish carefully in pan, and sear on all sides about 15-20 seconds per side until nice color develops. Turn off heatbeneath pan, citrus juices, and then place in oven to finish cooking,about 3-5 minutes. Remove fish from oven and pan, slice into medallions. Seasonwith sea salt and fresh pepper.

**with this, I used a prepared spice rub.

Blueberry Salsa

Rubbed down fish

Added an avocado creme fraiche to it


The Blueberry Cream Pie recipe can be found here.

All in all, they were out of this world, though next time I would add some type of slaw to it as it was greatly needing some sort of crunch.