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Monkfish A Favored Fish
The monk-fish is also referred to as the Head Fish is a member of the shark family, but also look like a Ray because fins resemble a wing. This fish is known as the poor man’s lobster with the same texture and flavors as a lobster. These unusual fish have a life span of about 12 years, and are found in moderate to warm water preferring a tropical environment. They are Goose-fish one species is found in America, they are known as Lophius Americanus. These are very large mouthed fish with impressive pointed teeth very similar to those seen on a large white shark, and a very long spike resembling a lance growing from the upper part of the head. These unusual fish are seen in the lower Chesapeake Bay as well as the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and Cape Hatteras in North Carolina between the fall and spring when the conditions are right. A second species are known as L. Piscatorius and come from Europe.
These fish are bottom feeders and will bury themselves in the sand along the bottom, and between three and four years begin spawning upon reaching adulthood. The tail meat and liver are considered delicacies and are enjoyed by many. This is a very mild fish that is bright white, however it will turn the water white when it is boiled. It is also baked and can be found in many French recipe’s, it is a very unique tasting fish and is usually shipped unfrozen when ordered on the internet, but it freezes very well, and with a five-pound limit, this is a great buy.
I have personally purchased these decedent fish from two different sources with great luck. They were nice sized fillets, and were already cleaned and ready to cook. If they are not cleaned properly the dark areas will need to be removed for the best results in cooking. I prefer baking the whole filet, with a little olive oil or butter and some old bay seasoning sprinkled over the top. After covering the dish, I cook the filet for 20 minutes, then remove the covering and allow the fish to brown briefly under the broiler. For a quicker cook time I cut the fish into small bite size pieces, and add them to boiling water, the water will turn milky white, and the cook time is between ten and fifteen minutes depending on the size of each piece. I serve them either way with melted butter, and it is serving lobster at home.