Food + Spontaneous Planning = Kitchen Stress – How Our Fish CSF can Change Our Minds

We are still a part of the Cape Ann Fresh Catch CSF, and loving every little bit of fresh fish that comes our way (even if our frozen fish sometimes leaves something to be desired).  We expect a flaky white fish, as that is typically what we receive.  So, we planned a meal that included flaky white fish.

Instead, we were given Monkfish, or Poor Man’s Lobster.  A quick decision that such a fish would be wasted in Fish Tacos, we began the process of finding a new recipe to use for dinner.  For Theresa (me) this is a creative challenge, assessing what we have, and manipulating a recipe to fit the ingredients, all the while becoming extremely protective of our dinner.  This could work well, it might not, it’s a risk you take.  For Laura, this is a tense, harrowing process of trying to figure out a recipe that will include as many things that we have, while not being too strange.  It almost always comes out good, because of the forethought, but takes forever to accomplish.  We usually start to bicker, as we are hungry, and then I shut Laura out of the process, she gets angry, I choose something, she points out we don’t have all of the ingredients, I declare it will be fine and steal the recipe back and hide it from her, she sulks at the sink and I sulk at the stove.  Then we eat and everything is hunky-dory.

Last night was not as dramatic as other occasions.  We eventually settled on a Monkfish Bourride recipe, and rooted around in the freezers for the majority of the ingredients.

Our delish dins: Monkfish Stew with Potato, Leek, Oven Roasted Tomatoes (from our frozen stock), Fennel (fronds from our frozen stock), Garlic and Shallot, garnished with some heated basil (from our frozen cubes) and a homemade aioli sauce, served with bread. YUM!

Despite its dubious beginnings, we had a lovely dinner.  Soup, salad, basil topping, homemade aioli and bread came together and made something lovely.

Our spread: Monkfish Stew, Salad, Basil and Aioli.

Green Salad with Purple and Orange Carrot and Apple in a simple Red Currant Vinegarette (from Bug Hill Farm)

In the end, our decision to use the monkfish in a dish other than tacos was a smart move.  The fish became firm, but delicate, with a vaguely lobster flavor.  The taste and texture worked well in the more subtle arena of the soup.  It would have been lost in the haze of batter and condiments in tacos.  Here, with a drizzle of aioli, a dash of basil, and some bread to soak it all up, the monkfish was divine.

Laura had dessert duty last night, a task I rarely give up (notice a trend with who is protective of the cooking duties).  After some cookbook consultation, some back and forths, and a discussion of what a cobbler really is, she produced this lovely dessert.

Dessert: Blueberry Cobbler (or dump), with blueberries (from our frozen stockpile) and a whole wheat and honey biscuit topping.

We’ve begun to delve into our frozen foods, and are enjoying it immensely.  The only drawback is that when it is cold outside, rummaging through the deep freezer is far from enjoyable.  We might need gloves and a hat just to make dinner!

The entire east coast is pretty chilly, and we may in fact have a White Christmas in Boston (not that we will see it, we will be in Florida!).  Stay warm everyone!

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