Because of the ugliness of the Rana Pescatrice or Coda di Rospo -- the Italian names for anglerfish or monkfish translate as Fishing frog and Toad's Tail, respectively -- many fishmongers skin them and sell just the tail ends, which is where most of the edible meat is located. And fine meat it is; according to Alan Davidsnon, "firm, white, and lobster-like."
Should you come across a stock of the heads -- the fishmonger has to do something with them after removing them -- buy them and use them to make fish stock.
Should you have an anglerfish, you might want to try this recipe from Pescara:
Anglerfish alla Cacciatora, Rana Pescatrice alla Cacciatora
To serve 4:
Anglerfish tails for a total weight of 2 3/4 pounds (1.2 k), sliced parallel to the spine (use the bones to make fish stock)
A dozen cherry tomatoes, chopped
A clove of garlic, minced
A small bunch of parsley, chopped
A 6-inch (15 cm) sprig of rosemary, leaves removed and chopped
A handful of pitted black olives of the kind packed in brine
1 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup extravirgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a fairly deep skillet. Lay the pieces of fish in it and sprinkle the tomatoes, olives, and herbs over them. Season to taste. Set the pan on the fire, and as soon as it begins to crackle sprinkle the wine into the pot. Cook for about 10 minutes more over a brisk flame, and serve at once.
A Note: In the north Cacciatora is a stew with tomatoes and onions, in the south it indicates a dish seasoned with garlic, rosemary, and, optionally, vinegar.
Note: The Angler fish is closely related to tne North American Goosefish, which will work well as a substitute.
Angler Fish on About:
Cajun Seasoned Monkfish
How to Select Fresh Fish
How to Serve a Whole Fish at Table
Other Fish Recipes