Mad Monkfish

Beautiful fresh monkfish loins in season this April. It’s a dense, meaty tough challenge. A moist braise is the key. Most fish gets dry with more roasting. Quite the opposite with this angler.

For 2. Cut a 1 lb. filet cross-wise into 2″ medaillons. Sprinkle with ground black pepper, garlic powder. In a heavy skillet, sear them on all sides in olive oil on medium high heat. Add 1 finely minced shallot, and 1/4 cup butter, deglaze with 1/2 cup dry white wine or broth. Reduce to simmer. Add juice of 1 lemon, 1 cup Cento coarsely chopped tomatoes (drained), a little dried basil and pepperoncini flakes to taste, 3 tbs. capers and/or chopped black olives. Cover, continue to simmer for 15 minutes.

Serve with crostini or pasta. Rasputin would be proud.

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Strahl Brisket

Lovingly derived from Birdie Sandler Strahl’s original, enhanced by daughter Betsey Strahl Levine’s creative touch:

4-5 lb. first cut fresh brisket of beef. Serves about 8-ish. It shrinks. In a dutch oven, brown brisket well on both sides to sear. Take out and place on dish. Brown at least 3 large sliced onions, the more the better. Put the brisket back into the pan and season with generous amount of paprika, pepper, garlic powder, salt. Pour 16 oz. canned tomato sauce over the meat.

Bake at 350 degrees tightly covered for one hour. Uncover and add 1 cup sweet Jewish or another fruity red wine. Bake covered for another hour. Uncover and take out the pot roast and slice against the grain. Put sliced meat back into the pot and make sure it is covered with liquid, add chicken broth if necessary. Bake another hour or until it falls apart.

Serve with hot horseradish and Dr. G’s Potato Latkes.