They also have an interesting, irregular growth of flesh in the front of their head, just above their mouth. The esca, also referred to as the illicium, is movable in all directions and used as a lure to attract other small fish into their massive jaws. The "antenna" dip down resembling a shrimp and the prey is snatched. Nature! Love it!
The tail is the portion of monkfish that is eaten, but the head has lots of "meat", too and makes an incredible fish stock for seafood chowder. Once boiled, pick off the "meat" and make a luscious seafood salad.
Now, on to MONKFISH MARSALA! This recipe is from The Daily Catch in Boston, across from what used to be the famous Jimmy's Harborside.
|Served over linguini with garlic bread;|
topped with freshly chopped parsley and lots of
that gorgeous Marsala sauce.
1 lb. Monkfish, cut into 1/2 inch medallions, salted & peppered (We left ours in slightly larger strips.)
1/2 cup flour for dredging
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 1/2 cup Marsala wine*
1/2 cup fish, clam, or mussel broth**
8 white button mushrooms, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 lemon for squeezing
2 Tbsp. Butter
2 Tbsp. Parsley chopped
*I couldn't find Marsala wine so used sherry instead. Not a bad substitute, but it's best to use Marsala.
|This was excellent sherry, but really not the same as Marsala.|
|Dredge the medallions in liberally|
seasoned flour. Shake off the excess.
Place a large skillet with oil over medium high heat. I added a tbsp. Of butter to the pan, as well. It helps brown the fish and adds to the flavor. Sear the monkfish in hot pan for about 2 minutes per side or until nicely browned and slightly carmelized. Remove the fish from the pan and set aside.
Add the mushrooms and cook for a couple minutes until the butter/oil is absorbed and mushrooms start to look translucent.
|I was a little late on this photo as flames are nearly gone.|
Be careful when igniting alcohol as it really
does flare up and could take off your eyebrows!
I LOVE ALL THE FRESH FISH WE EAT WHEN
LIVING IN IRELAND. ITS A VERY SPECIAL TREAT!
WE ARE SO FORTUNATE AND I ALSO LOVE IT WHEN
MY HUSBAND COOKS WITH ME!!
|Connie Thornton from Ali's Fish Market in Barna knows her fish!|