It certainly wasn’t the best monkfish dinner I can remember, but it looks pretty good in the picture, and it was at least remarkable for including ingredients which should have been almost impossible to find in the middle of a very cold February.
The recipe was a slight adaptation of one in Mark Bittman’s ‘Fish: The Complete Guide to Buying and Cooking‘, and it turns out I’m not the only reader who found it lacking.
- three five-and-a-half-ounce monkfish fillets from Pura Vida, dredged in flour with salt, pepper, and a mix of lots of different chopped fresh herbs, browned in olive oil, white wine added to the pan and two chopped baby leeks from Rogowki Farm tossed on top before it was placed in a 450º oven for about 25 minutes, the pan juices then reduced and spooned on top of the fish once it was placed on plates, which was then garnished with more leek and more fresh herbs
radishes from Rogowski Farm (surely hanging out long after their natural span of days), tossed with salt, pepper, olive oil, and branches of thyme from Manhattan Fruit Exchange, roasted in a 450º oven for about 20 minutes
- collard greens (this time apparently the last of the season for sure) from Rogowski Farm, cut in a rough chiffonade, then braised in a heavy pot in which crushed garlic, also from Rogowski Farm, had been allowed to sweat with some heated olive oil, the dish finished with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil
- the wine was a Shaya old vines, verdejo Rueda 2013
- the music was Dvořák‘s Symphony No. 2, with which neither of us was familiar, but after several rather unexciting movements, the finale sounded very much like Bruckner. Dvořák‘s symphony was composed in 1865 (although revised in 1887), the same year in which he had completed his first. Bruckner’s own first, ‘study symphony’, was completed in 1868, although it was not performed until 1924. Dvořák had certainly not heard any Bruckner symphony at the time he completed his second. I seriously doubt it, but I would eave it to a musicologist to determine whether the younger composer might have ‘Brucknerized’ his 1887 version.