“Good looking Monk Tom , where’s it from”
“The sea Rory, you hung over again”?
“It might very well have been Rory – but without its academic history I’ll never know”
Tom’s left hook landed square on my jaw preceded by his deft feint – I hit the canvas…..then reached for my wallet to buy the beautiful beast sitting on flaked ice in the Monger’s window. Our ritual verbal sparring finished before it really got a chance to get going this particular Saturday morning, our bouts can usually go 3-4 rounds easily….hungover or not. The audience was understandably aggrieved at the speed the joust finished but in truth she was more interested in securing Herring fillets and wheeling herself to a 10 O’Clock Blue rinse.
Fishmongers are a funny breed – they aren’t fishermen and they aren’t cooks they’re middle men, Del- Boys, Sales Sharks….some of them don’t even like fish…but they are characters and they are to be cherished, loved and thoroughly not trusted. You can haggle with a Fish Monger where as a Butcher will let you feel his blade over a drop in price. If you have ever been to Billingsgate Market in London at 4am you’ll understand what I mean!
Monkfish is a blank but very tasty canvas so I like to challenge these big bad-assed fish with monster flavours- Salmon is the same this recipe is the gauntlet hitting my kitchen floor to Tom and his possibly smart arsed fish. The Monk is bathed in an aromatic spice paste – typical Middle Eastern – and served with a Turmeric Cous Cous, tart sun-blushed cherry tomatoes and creamy Artichoke hearts.
Please stop wrapping it in Parma ham it insults both Pig and Fish!
WHAT YOU NEED: serves 2
1/2 a fat Monk fish tail – boned
1 tps Sweet Paprika
1 tps All-Spice
1/2 tps Cumin powder
2-3 tps Rapeseed oil
1 tps salt flakes
1 tps cracked black pepper
1/2 tps Cayenne pepper
120 grams of couscous
1 tps Turmeric
100mls chicken stock
handful sunblushed cherry tomatoes
3-4 Artichoke hearts sliced (I used deli-bought)
Fresh Coriander roughly chopped
Fresh Greek Yogurt
HOW YOU DO IT:
Step 1: Make the paste for the Monkfish by combining the Paprika, All Spice, Cumin, Salt, Peppers and oil – it should be a deep dark red and…well…pasty.
Step 2: Sling the Monkfish into an iron pan (or oven proof dish) then straight into a pre-heated oven at 180 – there’s about 10-12 minutes cooking here but time will vary depending on the size of the fish.
Step 3: As the Monk roasts add the Cous Cous to a bowl and pour over the hot stock tehn cover with a plate and leave to steam
Step 4: about 10 minutes into the roasting of the Monk stick a metal skewer into the centre of the fish, hold for 3 seconds and then touch it to your top lip – if it warm its done.
Step 5: At this point add the Sun-blushed tomatoes and Artichoke hearts to the pan and allow to warm through in teh Monkfish juices
Step 6: Bring things together: fluff the couscous gently with a fork and mix in the turmeric then add this to the Monkfish, Tomatoes and Artichoke in the pan, Finish with a flurry of chopped coriander and a splash of the Yogurt.
FANCY A BEER? TRY THIS: