baked monkfish, tomatoes, and purple potatoes; mustards

I didn’t know what I was going to do with the monkfish tails this time until Barry suggested I roast them with the little Magic Molly fingerlings I had bought the week before. It seemed it would be a good time to use these deep purple potatoes, since their darkness doesn’t work visually with many entrées and vegetables.

In the 2 earlier meals in which I had prepared baked purple potatoes in a dish like this I had used cod, which required a little preparation ahead of time. The substitution of monkfish meant adjusting the seasoning, particularly the salt, and there were a few other changes, but I cobbled together a formula that worked.

  • fourteen ounces of quite small ‘Magic Molly‘ potatoes from Tamarack Hollow Farm, sliced to a thickness of roughly 1/4″, tossed inside a large bowl with 3 tablespoons, or slightly more, of a good Trader Joe’s Italian Reserve extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, a pinch of an Eckerton Hill Farm crushed dried hickory smoked Jamaican Scotch bonnet pepper, arranged, certainly overlapping, inside a rectangular glazed ceramic oven pan, cooked for roughly 25 minutes in a 400º oven, or until they were tender when pierced, but ideally not quite fully cooked, then 2 monkfish tails, or Lotte, (20 ounces total) purchased from Jan, at the P.E. & D.D.Seafood stand in the Union Square Greenmarket, before we started talking about remodeling kitchens, washed and rinsed, placed inside the pan on top of the potatoes, drizzled with a little olive oil, sprinkled with some salt and pepper, partly blanketed with thin slices of 3 Backyard Farms Maine ‘Cocktail tomatoes’, the tomatoes themselves seasoned lightly, the pan returned to the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the fish was just cooked through, fillets and tomato removed with a spatula (2 spatulas ae better), along with as much of the potatoes as can be brought along with each piece, everything arranged on the plates as intact as possible, any remaining potatoes then added, everything garnished with chopped fresh dill from Phillips Farms
  • one bunch of red mustard greens from Norwich Meadows Farm, wilted inside a large antique copper pot in a little olive oil in which several large halved cloves of Foragers Market garlic had been allowed to sweat a bit, seasoned with salt and pepper and finished on the plates with a drizzle of olive oil
  • the wine was a French (Petit Chablis) white, La Chablisienne Pas Si Petit Petit Chablis 2016, from Philippe Wine
  • the music was Gavin Bryars’ 2004 piece, ‘New York’, a concerto for tuned percussion quintet and chamber orchestra