I would like some ideas on cooking "poor mans lobster" also known as monk fish. I'm thinking of poaching it in a saffron-tomato broth. What is the best and tastiest way to cook this bottom feeder?
The biggie is to be sure to remove the membranes from the surface of the fish. After that, you can do just about anything with it: grill, poach, braise... Just be sure not to overcook it, as it will dry out quickly. (I've had this fish prepared umpteen different way in France, and loved them all. Your poaching approach sounds great.)
This fish is on the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch AVOID list. They are caught using bottom trawls which destroy the ocean floors. Bottom trawling also produces bycatch, which leads to the unintentional death of other ocean mammals.
I urge you not to eat this fish unless you are 100% positive that it is sustainably caught, although I'm not sure if there is such a thing with monkfish.
Monkfish is indeed a very interesting critter to cook. Yes, it does resemble lobster. Primarily in texture but also in taste.
I learned to cook it while in cooking school in Pacific Grove, CA, very close to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Matter of fact, the fish market we used was only two blocks from the aquarium. Small world!
As Pikawicca said, be sure to remove the membrane.
And, with regard to schoenfelderp's comments, I prefer to rely on this info from NOAA:
The NOAA page was updated in July of 2010.
Alas, no update date on the Monterey Bay Aquarium page so no way to know if the info is current...
EDITED TO ADD: We served the monkfish poached, accompanied by Salsa Scarlatta which, as I recall, involved pureed red peppers. Sorry, I can't get any closer that that!
I've used this recipe a number of times and it is always good. Veal Bacon Wrapped Monkfish at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/th... Although I do change up things a little, I use regular bacon instead of veal bacon, seafood stock (made from shrimp and crab shells usually) rather than lobster stock. +1 with pikawicca, if it's overcooked it's not going to be nearly as good as it should be.