Monkfish, once considered a trash fish, is colloquially called “poor man’s lobster” for its plump, juicy texture. Chef Evan Mallet of Black Trumpet restaurant in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, serves it roasted and wrapped in bacon with garlicky escarole on the side.
- 8 bacon slices
- 1 garlic clove, sliced 1
- (1-pound) head escarole or other tender, bitter chicories, leaves separated
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper 4 (6-ounce)
- monkfish fillets (about 1 1/2-inches thick) 2 tablespoons canola oil
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high, turning occasionally, until cooked but still pliable and not crisp, about 4 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper towel–lined plate to drain. Reserve 1 tablespoon bacon drippings in skillet; discard remaining drippings. Add garlic to skillet, and add escarole by the handful, turning with tongs until wilted and just tender, about 5 minutes. Season escarole with salt and pepper, and keep warm.
Sprinkle monkfish fillets with salt and pepper. Wrap 2 bacon slices crosswise around each fillet; secure with a toothpick running crosswise through fillet and bacon. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Add fillets to skillet; cook, undisturbed, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Turn fillets over; place skillet in preheated oven. Roast until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of fillets registers 140°F, 12 to 14 minutes.
Remove toothpicks from fish. Serve hot with escarole.