Cedar wraps are all the rage right now. Here’s another post where I cedar wrapped some shrimp. It’s a quick way to impart some amazing flavor all the way around a protein rather than just on the bottom as with a plank. Don’t get me wrong, I love plank grilling too, but the cedar and alder wraps are seeing more use at my house right now than the planks. And in this instance, it allows me to whip up an incredibly elegant and healthy meal in no time at all. Let’s get to Cedar Wrapped Monkfish and Asparagus
Cedar Wrapped Monkfish and Asparagus Ingredients:
- 2 cedar wraps
- 2 ounces of white wine
- 2 monk fish filets (about 5 oz each)
- White pepper
- Your favorite BBQ rub
- 1 pound of asparagus, washed and the woody stems snapped off
What is Monk Fish?
That monkfish doesn’t look so pretty does it? Here’s a closer look:
If you don’t think it looks good there, don’t ever sneak a peak of one before it has had the meat harvested. The monk fish may be tasty as can be, but a whole one looks terrible. Like horror movie terrible:
Despite it looking like a monster from the deep, it is actually one of my favorite fish. It’s got a taste and texture similar to lobster. Many call it poor man’s lobster. My only complaint about monkfish is the availability. Because it is so much like lobster, and much cheaper, it’s hard to find. Enough with the monk fish. Let’s get this recipe going.
First up, where exactly does one get cedar wraps? I get mine, along with all my planks and hardwood, from Bob’s Smokin’ Hard Wood. The problem is, Bob’s is no longer smokin’ or in business. Luckily, you can grab cedar wraps pretty cheap on Amazon.
Next, we have to soak our cedar wraps in liquid. Water is all it needs, but I like to ramp it up a little. I soaked my wraps in white wine. Some of the winos are thinking that’s a massive waste of wine. Not if you use this little trick.
***Pro Tip – Grab a resealable bag to soak the wraps
Rather than filling a 9X13 pan to cover a 7.25X8 inch wrap, get a gallon resealable bag and slide the wraps in there (and a couple of the strings to fasten the wraps) and pour in only an ounce or two of wine. Then lay the plastic bag flat on the counter or in this case my stove:
Make sure to separate the two wraps to allow some wine to get in between them. Soak the cedar wraps for 30 minutes to an hour.
Cedar Wrap Preparation
Once the wraps are properly moisturized, remove them from the wine bag and set them on a cutting board. Place one of the monk fish filets on the wrap and hit the fish with salt, pepper and your favorite BBQ rub (as well as the asparagus):
Roll up the wrap and tie off with the string.
Cedar Wrap Monkfish and Asparagus Grilling Directions
Set the grill for two zone grilling with coals on one side and nothing on the other. Stoke up the coals to a medium high heat and place the wraps right over the hot coals:
It’s OK if some of your ingredients stick out a bit:
Leave the cedar wrapped monk fish and asparagus over the coals for 4-5 minutes and then roll the wrap over to cook on the other side:
When the cedar wrap is charred all the way around, the monkfish and asparagus inside are done:
I prefer to serve this meal in the wrapper for two reasons. 1) It’s a unique presentation and 2) it keeps the food hot longer.
Ready to eat:
Cedar Wrapped Monkfish and Asparagus Run Down
The cedar wrap imparted a slightly smoky flavor from the charred wood as well as the wonderful earthy flavor of the cedar plus the sweetness of the wine into the monkfish and asparagus. Prep time of about 2 minutes of work (and 30-60 minutes, enjoying a glass of wine while the wrap soaks) and maybe 10 minutes on the grill is all it takes to knock this meal out of the park.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below or shoot me an email.
Cedar Wrapped Monkfish and Asparagus
- 2 Cedar wraps
- 2 oz white wine
- 2 monk fish filets about 5 oz each
- white pepper
- your favorite BBQ rub
- 1 lb asparagus washed and hard bases snapped off
- Place the wraps (and 2 strings) in a resealable plastic bag and pour in the wine
- You might have to peel the two wraps off of each other inside the bag to make sure to get them fully soaked with wine
- Place the bag flat on the counter and enjoy a glass of wine, when the glass is empty, prep the meal
- Set one of the monk fish filets on the wrap and hit it with the salt, pepper and BBQ rub
- Put half the asparagus next to the fish and roll up the wrap, tying it off with one of the strings
- Repeat with the other wrap
- Place the wraps directly over the coals on a medium high grill
- Roll them over about 4-5 minutes and cook them on the other side for another 4-5 minutes
- Once the cedar wrap is charred all the way around, the monkfish and asparagus are done
- Plate in the wrapper