(not) monkfish and double carrots {ffwd}

Cod and Double Carrots

Another week of French Fridays with a recipe that I found uninspiring on the page: Monkfish and Double Carrots. I even postponed making it until Friday’s dinner. I just wasn’t sure about carrots in a carroty sauce topped with fish fillets topped with crumbled bacon.

I’m not a big fan of monkfish. I had it once before, long, long ago. In college, I went to a fancy dinner before a big dance. Dances weren’t really a thing at my school, and though the occasion must have been special, I have no idea what it was for. I do remember having dinner at one of the fanciest restaurants in Boston at that time, Maison Robert. It was a classic French restaurant, and I felt rather intimidated. I also felt adventurous and ordered lotte (monkfish) which I’d never had before. (Dinner is the only thing I actually remember about the evening. How fitting that I grew up to be food-obsessed.) My meal was so rich that my stomach was upset for most of the evening. Maybe it was just the sauce, not the fish itself, but I’ve never been tempted to eat monkfish again. So enough about something that happened over 30 years ago. On to tonight…

Food phobias aside, monkfish is not a fish I often see at the fish counter, so I knew I’d be swapping in a different fish or seafood. From the array of choices, I opted for some wild cod.

Carrot Juice Sauce

The double carrots come from carrots cooked in carrot juice enriched with some butter and olive oil. I was rather skeptical as it simmered on the stove. The fish is fried in the bacon fat rendered from the bacon bound for the top of the fish. I’m not sure cod was the best choice for pan-frying as it was fragile when I was flipping the fillets.

The sauce was very runny, so rather than serve on a plate, I used a pasta bowl. This makes a gorgeous presentation, just like a restaurant. To my surprise, it tasted like a restaurant meal as well. So much for being uninspiring on the page. Howard loved it too. “With bacon on top, how could it be bad?”, he said. I served this with roasted potatoes on the side.

Double Carrots

This one is a winner, and company-worthy to boot. I learned from my first attempt, but there are so many possibilities to perfect it. As I said, a different fish might have worked better. Or, as Howard suggested, maybe we could sous-vide the fish and then sear it just before serving. Also, the suggested bed of mashed potatoes would have been a better way to go than roasted potatoes. Mashed potatoes would have acted as an edible sponge for the carrot sauce.

To see how the double carrots delight worked out for the other Doristas, check out their links here. You can find the recipe on-line here or in Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table.

Happy Friday!

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Posted on 10 October 2014, in Fish, French Fridays with Dorie and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Wasn’t this delicious? i ended up making it last minute, encouraged by how much others seemed to like it. I used scallops, and you are right. Company worthy, but loved that it only took about s half an hour. Definitely s do again. So happy you and Howard liked it do much!

  2. This was such an unexpectedly great recipe. I couldn’t believe how quick and easy it was, and versatile with cod, tilapia, shrimp, scallops and monkfish.

    Glad you enjoyed it too! How is your fur baby? Mine loved the carrots with this dish – they are carrot addicts!

  3. That’s a rough story. There are definitely some foods that I won’t eat today based on my experience with them when I was younger. The brain just knows…
    It was interesting that this was an Atlantic fish – I never knew that!

    Glad you both enjoyed this one! (this dish made us feel a bit fancy too…)

  4. I wish I had enjoyed this one more. Despite of the bacon and rosemary, I thought the carrot flavor was too one-note.

    I ordered a sous-vide wand (the technical name escapes right now) from a Kickstarter project and I can’t wait to get it. I will definitely pick your brain for practical advice and ideas.

  5. I love it when you don’t expect something to turn out so well and then it’s amazing like this!

  6. This one did sound odd, but it was so delicious. I think the bacon really works to balance all the flavours on the plate. Now that I’ve seen some photos of this served with mashed potatoes, I wish I’d done the same, but at the time I thought it was very good without accompaniment.

  7. Almost everyone loved this recipe and especially everyone thought the carrots and sauce were delicious. Since you and Teresa have both suggested that Cod can be used as a sub (I will use Pacific Cod which I’ve eaten before and liked), I will make this recipe next week. I cannot find Jerusalem Artichokes and even Whole Foods cannot promise they can get it. I’m a little off on my FFWD recipes this month but am just trying to make what’s available up here in the mountains now.

  8. I’m hoping we get together after we finish this cookbook…and we must bring our husbands, so they can go to a burger joint, while you and I do some fine dining. I think many of us were shocked at how amazing this dish tasted…and if our guys loved it, it’s definitely a winner!!!

  9. Well since Mary said it, I am having trouble finding Jerusalem artichokes too but I will give it the college try. I made this one with shrimp which we liked. I did think it was party worthy and easy to which is nice.

  10. This dish was definitely company worthy! We loved it too! If I could have found monkfish I would have given it a try…but the scallops were amazing! Your dish looks great…glad you and Howard enjoyed it!

  11. I missed all you guys! It feels great to be back and a part of the group again :)
    I didn’t think this would be as good as it turned out either, I think what won me over was that I too thought “it’s got bacon! How bad can it be?!” I’m glad I tried it and it did taste like a restaurant meal :)

  12. Your cod looks delicious, even if it was tricky to pan fry. I wish I had tried a different fish, the monkfish I used was only OK.

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