It’s official, its fall folks. The weather has changed so much around my home, instant fall. I hope to get some more beach days in this year, I really enjoy laying down at the beach with a good book. We’ll see about that!
Since the weather has changed so much, I really feel that I want to cook a fall dish. Something warm and filling on a cool, rainy day. When I say warm dishes, I’m talking soups, stews, fish, etc. One of the fish that I really like is monkfish, or rape (pronounced rah-pay) in Spanish. When I first moved to the States, it was difficult to find. But I persisted and have been able to find it.
I can say that Rape is different than other fish. It is pretty firm and meaty, similar to a steak or chicken consistency. The way they prepare it, it doesn’t have many bones either. If you see the whole fish, it is pretty ugly (I am sorry Mr. Monkfish…) But it tastes better than it looks! And that’s what it matters in the kitchen.
Today I made Rape al Horno con Cognac, which translates to Oven-Baked Monkfish with cognac. It is baked in a pan with onions and potatoes, which is very typical of Spanish cuisine. The recipe is simple to execute. If you don’t have cognac or don’t like the taste, don’t worry. You can easily substitute white wine.
Ingredients: 3 -4 servings :
- 2 lbs monkfish fillets
- 4 medium potatoes (about 1 medium potato per person)
- 1 medium onion
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- 1 cup canola oil (for cooking the potatoes)
- 2 – 3 tablespoons of cognac
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 2 cloves garlic
Preheat the oven to 400F.
In a large pan, preheat the canola oil on medium heat. Peel and cut the potatoes into thin slices (if you have a mandolin, this is a good time to use it). Fry the potatoes until just soft. You don’t want french fries. Remove the potatoes, and place on a paper towel lined plate to soak up the excess oil. Season with salt and pepper. You may need to cook the potatoes in several batches if your pan is not big enough.
Next, slice the onion very thin (mandolin is a good option here as well).
In a large baking dish, drizzle some olive oil or cooking spray and line the bottom of the dish with the potatoes and onions. Just pour them in and distribute them evenly. Next, place the fish on top and season with salt, pepper, paprika and drizzle the cognac on top.
(*OPTIONAL: If you don’t want to fry the potatoes, boil them with the skin on for about 20 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the pot and then peel them. I find that peeling them after they are cooked is easier.)
Bake for about 15 minutes. While the fish is cooking, prepare the garlic and the almonds using a mortar and pestle. Add a little olive oil to mash it.
After 15 minutes, add the almond mixture on top of the monkfish and bake for 5-7 more minutes.
Ready to serve! I always cook some veggies, this time it was zucchini.
Bon profit and Happy Fall!