Grilled Pork Loin…I mean Monkfish

  • Recipe(s): Delicious roasted white fish wrapped in smoked bacon with lemon mayonnaise and asparagus
  • Prep: Easy
  • Taste: Very Good

Monkfish…..what a fish!

The other night we had a dinner guest and decided to check yet another recipe off of our list. The recipe just calls for a white fish and gives a few examples. I had never had either of the two examples, so I headed off to Granville Island to see what was available. I ended up picking up a few 7 ounce pieces of monkfish, not really knowing what it was going to be like…boy was I, and everyone else, at dinner surprised by this fish…in a good way

Before I get to the gloriousness that was the monkfish, let me tell you about the prep. It was a very easy dish to put together. The fish came ready to go, the bacon was also ready to go and we had leftover homemade mayonnaise from the egg salad recipe we had made a few days prior. I made sure that I chopped the fresh rosemary very fine, knowing that it can be a bit woody and off-putting on the palate if the pieces are left too large.

When I placed the bacon wrapped, rosemary seasoned fillets in my pan to fry for a few minutes I thought, there is no way we are going to eat all of this. They looked enormous! Fast forward 20 minutes and I thought to myself, ok, we can eat these now. The fillets had cooked down by at least 40% and looked much more manageable. I guess there was a lot of water in the fillet, which evaporated while cooking. I had never seen this happen with salmon, halibut or tuna. Anyway, we were pleasantly surprised.

I thought I was done with surprises until I took my first bite of the fish. It was like no other fish I had ever had before. As the title indicates, it was more like a pork loin than fish. It did not flake off, like most fish would. It was a really robust fillet. This worked well with the bacon as it allowed you to cut a whole piece of both together, rather than the fish breaking apart before you are able to get through the bacon, which normally happens to me. I still can’t get over the texture of the fish…amazing!

The mixture of the rosemary, pepper and lemon zest added a really nice flavour to the dish. It worked very well with the bacon flavour and balanced it out. Normally the bacon would overpower everything in the dish but the rosemary, which itself has a big flavour, counteracted this. Add to this mixture the lemon mayonnaise and you have a perfectly balanced dish. The salt of the bacon, acid of the lemon, and cream of the mayonnaise…heaven.

The fish was excellent but I can’t forget about the asparagus. It too was great. It had been cooked perfectly, not mushy, which is disgusting, and not too hard, which many people don’t like. It was just hard enough that you could take down a piece of asparagus with the fish and bacon and create the perfect bite. The asparagus was cooked in the juice that was rendered out of the fish and bacon, which was a great idea and added a nice flavour to the asparagus. Added to the recipe, we also steamed some cauliflower, which soaked up all the flavours.

This dish ranks very high on the flavour to effort scale. It may drop a few points if the mayonnaise is not made ahead of time but you could substitute store bought to save on time.

I would definitely make this dish again.

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