Tag Archives: Providence and RI Cookbook

Bacon-Wrapped Monkfish with Apple-Shallot Jam

Bacon Wrapped Monkfish with Apple Shallot Jam

It’s official: I picked too many apples at the orchard this year. Though I’ve always loved apples, either eaten as is, or used in cooking, or used in baking, I must confess that I got a little sick of them this fall. And I hope you haven’t gotten sick of seeing apple recipes coming across this blog, because yes, I’m aware that there have been a lot of them.

apple shallot jam

But it’s a relief good to know that here we are at the end of the run. Now, in my defense, I didn’t think I’d be blogging so many apple recipes – I fully expected to have some duds. But then I only had three apple recipe flops. Three! Out of… I don’t want to know how many. The first dud was supposed to be some apple crème brulee tartlets, but the pie dough didn’t remotely cooperate. The second flop was some toffee walnut blondies with an apple pie layer on top. The blondies themselves were fabulous, but the topping was beyond ugly. There was too much liquid, and after only a little bit of time it looked gray and very unappealing.

Apple Shallot Jam

And the third, an apple upside-down cake, wasn’t so much of a flop per se; it was perfectly edible and quite delicious in fact. But I really hated the way it looked and the way the pictures came out, so I skipped blogging it.

This dish wasn’t a dud – not in the least. It’s incredibly tasty. If you’ve never given monkfish a try, I highly recommend correcting that. It’s a wonderfully thick, fatty white fish, with a texture something akin to swordfish, but then again something all its own. And if you don’t groove on the fish, this jam would stand on its own quite nicely. It would be perfect for sandwiches or spread on biscuits. Enjoy!

bacon wrapped monkfish

And here’s my round-up of apple recipes for this year, with one special addition: last year, with my apple stash, I made one of the best things I’ve ever tasted – Apple Pie Ice Cream. While it was one of the best things I’ve ever made, it was NOT one of the best things I’ve ever photographed. So I made it again this year and got much better pics. I’ve updated the post, so please, click over and enjoy!

Apple Pie Ice Cream

BREAKFAST(ISH):
Apple Cheddar Quiche
Cranberry Apple Muffins
Savory Apple, Oat and Herb Scones
Apple Pie Bagels
Apple Butter Doughnuts
Apple Streusel Bread
Beer Waffles with Cinnamon Apples and Caramel Sauce

MAIN DISHES:
Apple-Pork Ragout over Pappardelle
Pancetta-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin over Apple-Turnip Hash

DESSERTS:
Pumpkin Apple Cake
French Apple Tart
Apple Maple Walnut Cobbler
Apple Crisp
Caramel Apple Layer Cake
My Mom’s Apple Cake

Good lord, that’s a lot… Oh well, they were all delicious, I stand by it. 🙂

{One year ago: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apples, Onion, and Candied Pecans and Sweet Potato Biscuits}

Source: adapted from The Providence and Rhode Island Cookbook by Linda Beaulieu

Ingredients:
FISH:
2 (10 oz.) monkfish tail ends
Kosher salt and black pepper
6 strips bacon
2 tbs olive oil

JAM:
1 cup sugar
4 shallots, chopped
4 medium apples, peeled, cored and diced
½ cup red wine, such as merlot
2 cups apple cider
2 tbs maple syrup

Directions:
Season the monkfish all over very lightly with salt and moderately with black pepper. Wrap 3 strips of bacon around each piece of fish and secure with toothpicks.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
In a cast-iron or other ovenproof large skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat. When it is nearly smoking, carefully place the fish in the pan and sear for about 1 minute per side. Place the skillet in the oven and cook the fish until just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to be sure. You want it to read 145 F.
While the fish is cooking, make the jam. In a medium saucepan over low heat, cook the sugar until it caramelizes. If it is seriously refusing to caramelize over low heat, inch the heat level up until it cooperates. Don’t walk away during this process though. Sugar can go from beautifully caramelized to burnt in a split second.
Add the shallots, apples, wine, apple cider, and maple syrup. Cook until thick and reduced by half. Again, your heat level and cook time may vary. I kept mine around medium heat and it took around 10 minutes. Stir frequently to avoid scorching the bottom of the sauce.
Remove the fish from the oven and remove the toothpicks. Serve immediately with a dollop of jam. Store leftover jam in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Cranberry Apple Muffins

Cranberry Apple Muffins

So the other day, I leave the house in a big fat hurry, don’t have time to eat breakfast, and my rumbling stomach lures me into the corner bakery in my neighborhood, a bakery that makes wonderful New York bagels and some of the best lox spread I’ve ever tasted. Being in too big a rush to have them toast and prepare a bagel, I grabbed a cranberry muffin and ran out the door. I figured it would be extremely tasty since that is the way of their bagels.

cranberry apple muffins, before baking

Ouch. Wrong. So, so unbelievably and indescribably wrong. It was terrible! I couldn’t eat more than a few bites. The texture was all wrong – too dense and dry. Also, it didn’t taste freshly baked – more like it has been sitting somewhere for too long a time. The flavor was quite unimpressive, it almost tasted chemical-y, like they used a boxed mix or something. And adding insult to injury, there were hardly any cranberries! They had stuck a few fresh (and I use the term loosely) cranberries on top, and I found a few at the bottom of the muffin, but none in the middle.

Cranberry apple muffins

Lest I be scarred for life, I decided to come home and make my own cranberry muffins, to erase the impression of that horrid, barely-edible foodlike concoction from the bakery. I had some dried cranberries, which I do like in baked goods, so I decided to go with those, even though the muffin I attempted to eat used fresh cranberries (or well, cranberries that were fresh at one point in time). And then I added an apple. Of course. Almost done with my stash, I promise.

Cranberry Apple Muffins

These muffins are so delicious. Thank goodness. Perfectly moist, lots of tart cranberry flavor, and wonderfully fresh tasting. The scars are fading. Enjoy!

Cranberry Apple Muffins

Source: adapted from The Providence and Rhode Island Cookbook by Linda Beaulieu

Ingredients:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 large egg
1/3 cup whole milk
½ cup canola oil
1 large apple, peeled, cored and diced
½ cup dried cranberries
Zest of 1 orange

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a standard muffin tin with liners. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and oil. Add to the flour mixture and whisk until just combined. Using a spatula, fold in the apples, cranberries, and orange zest.
Use your ice cream scoop to transfer the batter to the prepared muffin cups. Bake 14 to 20 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then either turn them on their sides or remove them to a cooling rack. Serve warm or room temperature.
Makes 12 muffins.