Wulf's Kitchen: Monkfish with Pan-Seared Grilled Zucchini and Capers
My travels have awarded me the opportunity to work in many restaurants within the US. One thing I noticed is that all my Executive Chefs loved Monkfish. When cooked properly, this fish has a really nice texture. Monkfish is often paired with winter and fall vegetables. This recipe is made to be a summer dish with some things that might soon be popping up in your home garden, and it’s easy to put together.
For The Vegetables
- 1 large green zucchini, lightly scored with diamond cuts
- 1 large yellow zucchini, lightly scored with diamond cuts
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes (whole)
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 ½ cup chopped parsley
- 2 lemons for zesting
For The Monkfish
- 1 pound monkfish, boneless
Cut your green zucchini down the middle lengthwise and cut your yellow zucchini into small disks about ¼ inch thick. On each of these pieces, use a paring knife to gently score the top surface on an angle in one direction. Then rotate them and lightly score them in the other direction. These should look like little “diamond cuts.” Once these are scored, you can set them aside.
Rough chop your parsley, mince your garlic, and then rough chop your capers. If you do it in this order you should only have to clean your cutting board once. Once all your ingredients are cut you are ready to cook!
Get your pan hot and add a little of your preferred cooking oil. Salt and pepper your green zucchini and gently set it scored side down in the pan. Let it sit until your zucchini is almost charred.
After about 3.5 - 4 minutes, flip over your zucchini to then color the skin side. When these are cooked to your liking, remove them and let them rest on a paper towel to soak up the excess oil. Repeat these steps for your yellow zucchini. Once your green zucchini has cooled, cut into several bite sized pieces on an angle, and put them in a medium sized mixing bowl.
In another small pan on high heat, begin to blister your cherry tomatoes. You’ll want the skin to start to crinkle and even get a little char on them. Once your tomatoes are blistered you can reduce your heat to low flame and add your garlic. You are just looking to soften your garlic with some heat.
Then add your yellow zucchini, chopped capers, and your tomatoes & garlic. Add your parsley and zest from 2 lemons at the end just in case your vegetables are still too hot. Now that your vegetables are done, you can move on to cooking your monkfish.
Cut your Monkfish into 4 equal portions and let rest in between two paper towels until it is close to room temperature. (You can prep everything else while this happens.)
By this time your fish should be ready to cook. In a hot pan (medium-high flame) drizzle a little of your desired cooking oil and salt and pepper your fish.
Set it in the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes on each side (depending on thickness) or until cooked.
If your fish still has a chill before you start your sear, or you forget to take it out, you may need to finish it in the oven. In that case, set your oven to 400 degrees and cook the fish to an internal temp of 145 degrees.
For plating, arrange your beautifully seared zucchini mix on the plate and lay your fish right on top. Enjoy!