A continuing series on weekly meals that use sustainable, organic, local and ethical food during the challenging winter months. For more information, go here to the DDC section of Not Dabbling in Normal’s website: Dark Days Challenge.
In which I make a celebratory birthday dinner with entirely local ingredients…
For all of its humble ingredients, this seemed like a fabulous and fancy birthday dinner. It wasn’t the least bit complicated but it did require separate and serial preparation of the major components, which came together compositionally at the very end. There were: bacon lardons, rendered and set aside, monkfish lightly seared in bacon fat and finished in a very hot oven, cabbage wedges browned in organic ghee without turning and braised in homemade chicken broth, cooled boiled potatoes that were peeled, cubed and lightly browned in ghee, and halved small carrots parboiled in the water used to cook the potatoes. After the ingredients were assembled on our plates, I spooned over additional broth and sprinkled on snippets of onion grass that is beginning to sprout all over the yard. Bon Appetit!
Cooking monkfish can be tricky since it has a tendency to curl and toughen. I sautéed it very quickly in the bacon fat (or you could use butter or a vegetable oil) and then roasted it on a baking sheet in a 475-degree oven for 5 minutes until nearly completely cooked through. I let it rest for 5 minutes, during which time it finished cooking, and cut it into chunks.