Monkfish – Part Two

  • Recipe(s): Roasted monkfish with black olive sauce and lemon mash (page 225)
  • Prep: Moderate
  • Taste: Ok

Tonight we ventured back into the world of monkfish. We really enjoyed the last recipe that used this robust fish and were looking forward to making it again. Unfortunately, it was not nearly the same…

The prep for this recipe was moderate. Not a lot of skill is required but it does take time to chop all of the ingredients, especially those that are part of the black olive mash. Aside from the time required, there is nothing technical to the prep. It is really just chopping ingredients.

As with the previous monkfish recipe, I was again struck by the texture of this fish, although it seemed a bit more rubbery on this occasion. I am going to put it down to the fact that I had to partially defrost the fish in the microwave first. We bought it Sunday at Granville Island, at the exact same place I picked it up last time. The difference is that it was frozen (in the back room) this time instead of fresh out front. We put it in the fridge Sunday afternoon but when I came home from work Monday it was still frozen, hence the microwave. I would not recommend doing this as it really changed the texture, for the worse.

Poor fish aside, the remaining components of the dish did not provide us with anything spectacular. The salt, rosemary and lemon zest rub on the fish, which sounded so promising, didn’t really come out in the dish at all. You could see it but for some reason could not taste it. The lemon mash was interesting and worked well with the fish (lemon and fish = best friends) but we both agreed that we prefer the way we typically make mashed potatoes, with butter and an egg (no olive oil). The most interesting and best part of the meal was the black olive sauce. This is something that neither of us have ever seen. It was more like a Mediterranean salsa. It had a very unique flavour, that did work well with the fish. The saltiness of the olives added a nice kick to the dish. It could have used another chili pepper to crank up the heat a touch but there was a decent amount of heat with the recommended amount. Two ingredients in the sauce that we weren’t too fussed about were the parsley and marjoram. They could probably be subbed for some oregano and more basil without affecting the integrity of the sauce.

This recipe ranks low on the flavour to effort scale but could definitely be higher with some tweaks to the recipe and a properly prepared fillet of fish.

So, unfortunately, we were not as impressed with this monkfish recipe as we were with the bacon wrapped recipe that we made last month. While we would both give monkfish another chance, we probably wouldn’t make this recipe again. Perhaps we would make a similar sauce for different meals but that would be it.


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