Posted by johngl
Way back in March, there was a monkfish post using tempura batter. Soon after, monkfish seemed to disappear from our local fish mongers’ shelves. Yesterday, I was very pleased to note their return and subsequently picked up one and a half pounds. These angler fish must go on a summer vacation somewhere. Anyone know where they go? Leave a comment if you do!
This time around, I used a rice flour and panko coating…
The results were pretty good: a light breading with a pretty resounding crunch.
Naturally, you will need to start with the monkfish:
Well, most fish mongers don’t lay them out like that anymore. Too many people ask too stupid questions. So what you will see looks more like this:
After cleaning a bit of subcutaneous skin-like substance from these fish bits, you will probably have several piles…
Doesn’t that just make your mouth water? Okay, so perhaps I am being a little too optimistic. The gray-looking pile is the silvery-skin looking stuff that generally peels off pretty easily (toss this or feed it to the neighbors cat). Then you have those lovely long, slender pieces. And the pile in the lower right is the smaller bits. I firmly believe that the closer to the (big and ugly) head you get, the sweeter the meat. It may just be my imagination.
Anyway, mix up your rice flour about half and half with panko crumbs. Throw in a pinch of salt and grind in some pepper. If you want long fish-stick kinds of things, cut the long pieces in half. Otherwise, just cut them up into about two-inch long chunks, roll them in the flour/crumb and drop them into some really hot oil. Peanut oil is the best for this and I get it right to the smoking point, just over 400 degrees.
A couple of minutes later, the sizzle dies down and they are golden brown. Scoop these guys out with a slotted spoon or mesh strainer and allow them to drain.
Once you get them on some dry paper towels…
grate some Himalayan sea salt over them. If you don’t have a brick of 200,000,000 year-old salt laying around, the gods have surely frowned upon you. Your 401(k) valuation has dropped by 50% and you are starting to take those Viva Viagra ads seriously. Rather than retiring by age 55, you are now considering 75. Get off your duff and harvest a brick of this wonderful pink salt. It has magical properties. Really.
So, once blessed with Magic Dust, these are ready to eat.
For a refreshing libation to accompany these fish bits, make yourself a variation of a “dark & stormy”:
1.5 oz cachaça (instead of the usual dark rum)
1 oz of lime juice simple syrup (I will get to that in a minute)
5 oz of ginger beer
To make some lime juice simple syrup, juice a few limes, strain out the pulp, put the remaining juice in a small pan, and add a few tablespoons of sugar (just short of a 50-50 blend of lime juice and sugar). Eyeball it, you’ll be close enough. Once you drink one, you won’t care anyway. As the lime juice heats up, it gets a little cloudy as the sugar dissolves. Then suddenly, it is clear again. Turn off the heat and let it cool. This stuff keeps in the fridge nearly forever, so make a lot so you will have some handy.
Now just add a few ice cubes to your martini shaker, drop in the cachaça and your lime juice mixture and shake it till your nose bleeds or your teeth come loose, whichever happens sooner. Pour this in a glass and top with your ginger beer (or ginger ale — ginger beer is way better though).
Drink up! And don’t forget the monkfish.