Wednesday, February 23, 2011

This is one Monk you wont see on USA network

Lately us at TNSC have been cooking off-the-cuff. We have been employing our knowledge of food, flavor parings, and whatever is left over in the pantry to extraordinary results. This week was no different. I procured a pound and a half of Monkfish from Eataly, looked up how to cook it properly, and went to town. Munkfish is known to be a pretty substantial fillet with a flavor and texture akin to lobster; so no better way to cook it than to steam it! We made a steam broth combining a pint of beer, dill, lemon zest, and green pepper corns.

We did a quick salt and peppering of the fillet and divided it accordingly.
With our starch we wanted to incorporate some of the flavors being infused into our fish. We cooked our polenta and as it approached the appropriate texture added some sprigs of dill, cayenne pepper, and paprika. As the fish approached done-ness we noticed how much it fluffed up, looking much like a broiled lobster tail. To say that any of us could control the Pavlovian response to this would be a an outright lie. As a finishing sauce we made a light roux and added some basic hotsauce for some heat and vinegar.

The fish was so succulent and even more flavorful and approachable than lobster. The sweetness with the butter roux was indescribable. Come over some time and I'll make it for you because this may be my new goto protien.
I seem to say this every time we cook, maybe it's just because I always enjoy myself that much more when something comes out so perfectly, but it seems that each meal we produce keeps getting better and better. Though this one will be hard to trump.
The wines we drank last night were purchased prior to the fish so were not meant as a pairing but were enjoyable none the less. Though a full bodied white burgh would have been mindblowing. The wines we drank were a very enjoyable primer on young versus old Cabernet Franc.

The younger of the two is an '09 Loire Cab Franc with excellent muted red fruit, minerality, balanced acidity, and a finish of lavender and violets. That being in stark contrast to the 01 Cabernet Franc by Caslot; a small, organic producer also from the Loire Valley. This wine had dominant barnyard notes on both the palate and nose. Totally unexpected. It's rare to find aged Cab Franc so this wine for me was uncharted territory. It still had plenty of acid to carry this wine through and in those 10 years the fruit had morphed into deeper purple territory. The finish was stemmy (in a good way I swear!) and contributed to an excellent finish on this unique bottle.

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