Monkfish With Mashed Potatoes and Thyme

1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold or other all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup milk, or as needed

Several sprigs fresh thyme

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3or 4 cloves crushed garlic

1 1/2 pounds monkfish, in 1 or 2 pieces, trimmed.

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put potatoes in a saucepan with water to cover. Add a large pinch of salt. Cook potatoes until quite tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and put through a ricer or food mill, or mash with a fork or potato masher. Add butter, milk, a few thyme leaves, and salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm in the oven or reheat in a microwave when ready to serve.

2. While potatoes cook, or immediately after they are done, put an ovenproof skillet large enough to accommodate monkfish over medium-high heat. After a minute, add the oil, garlic, a couple of thyme sprigs and then fillets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for about a minute, then without turning, transfer to oven.

3. Roast until monkfish is cooked through, 8 to 12 minutes depending on its thickness. (It will be tender but still firm when done; a thin-bladed knife will meet consistent light resistance when inserted in its center.) Reheat potatoes if necessary, then serve monkfish browned side up on top of them, garnished with a little more thyme and pan juices.

Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings.

From  The New York Times (October 24, 2007)