Day 27: Gratitude for Monkfish


A Monkfish, half mouth!

A Monkfish, half mouth!

To say I am a foodie, doesn’t quite capture what I feel for cooking and eating. While, others may struggle with diets and bemoan their love of cookies or weakness for fast foods, I freely admit to portion control of savory gourmet meals being my downfall. My reverence for all things Shaker have less to do with their beautiful furniture and more to do with their belief that cooking and preparing food is a prayer of thanks. It is even sinful, not to honor the plant or animal with the healthiest and tastiness preparation possible. After all, a life was taken and that life should be honored.

a sign of good things to come

a sign of good things to come

So, to say I resisted dancing like a whirling dervish, when I saw monkfish fillets resting on a bed of ice at a Harris Teeter would be a lie. For years, I wander to the fish counter and look at the labels. I am thrilled to see Icelandic cod or North Carolina shrimp but it is a very rare treat to see monkfish. The fishmonger agreed they rarely had any. I asked him if he’d ever tried it and he said he had but since he doesn’t like the taste of lobster, he didn’t like it. Coming from New Hampshire, I couldn’t comprehend not liking lobster; I knew people who were allergic but only one other person who didn’t like it. My grandfather did not like lobster, he told me he was sick of it. During the depression, it was all they ate. I was shocked, since I’d walk to Maine barefoot over broken shells for a lobster roll.

Mark Bitman roasted Monkfish-Edward Schneider

Mark Bitman roasted Monkfish

I found a simple, lovely recipe by Mark Bittman in the New York Times online. Do I roast it all? Freeze half? The possibilities are limitless. While it is called poor man’s lobster and does, in fact, taste like lobster, have a similar texture, it also has a it’s own unique subtle differences. First, Mark Bittman’s recipe… later, the possibilities are vast. My gratitude is enormous.

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