From the kitchen and bar – monkfish, and yes, more beers plus a cider

A week or two ago, my husband asked if I could pick up some fish for dinner.  When asked what kind of fish, he said “white” aka “not salmon”.  So off I went to the seafood department to look for some “white” fish, as opposed to whitefish which I generally get smoked.

They had quite a selection, from cod to “skate wings” which were a little too exotic for the moment.  So I got monkfish, also known as “poor man’s lobster”.  However, at the time, it was more expensive than lobster.  I got a pound, essentially one tail piece.

Monkfish is a rather ugly fish and its meat does have a rather unpleasant membrane on it that  makes it look a little reddish and slimy.  It’s also under watch as the fishing methods for it aren’t that environmentally friendly, and I probably won’t get more because that does concern me.  However, I will say it is very tasty, if not much like lobster at all in my opinion.  I prepared it very simply, first heating up oil in my new Le Creuset braising pan (a present from my parents) and placing the fish darker side down with the thinner part of the tail tucked up under the rest to make a more uniform shape.  After it browned in oil for a few minutes, I put it in a 450 degree oven for 16 minutes, as a recipe I found on the internet said.  After said time, it came out a lovely white and perfectly cooked, flaking away in nice big chunks.

With this, I made a variation on a hollandaise sauce, called Sauce Maltaise.  This has the juice and zest of blood oranges in it, which makes for a luscious and beautiful sauce for fish.  The color is similar to the creamy orange of a ripe juicy cantaloupe.  If you aren’t familiar with them, blood oranges are oranges with a dark red coloring in the flesh.  I’ve heard them described to have a berry-like flavor, but they taste exactly like other sweet oranges to me.

Beers we’ve sampled recently are as follows:

Victory Brewing Golden Monkey – I’ve had this before and I swear that it was much sweeter at one point than it is now.   Before, I thought it too sweet to have more than one or two.  Now, I find it a nice wheat Belgian style beer that, though strong in alcohol, is easy to drink.

Victory Brewing Storm King Imperial Stout – as you might expect, this is a hoppy stout.  Very hoppy.  Not my favorite because I don’t that too many hops play well with the dark roasty flavors of a stout.

Newcastle Cabbie Black Ale – can’t find a link to the company.  It’s a black ale, so it’s not suprising that it’s pretty much like a light porter to my taste.  Definitely one to drink multiples of with friends.

Yuengling Bock Beer –  Yuengling is one of the oldes, if not the oldest continually running breweries in the states.  It’s about 50 miles or so from my home.  I’ve never been that keen on their beers, finding them nothing special.  I like bocks and I didn’t like this one.  It had a weird funky taste to it and no real maltiness to speak of.

Reed’s Spiced Apple Brew – This isn’t an alcoholic cider, first off.  I picked this up at $1.50 for a four-pack, the remains of the holidays.  I like Reed’s ginger beer (excellent with coconut rum, incidentally) so I figured I’d try this.  It’s very good, with a very nice cider plus ginger/cinnamon/nutmeg taste.  The carbonation is fine like a champagne.

Eat, and drink, well!