We love monkfish (or rape in Spanish), even though the little blighters can be tricky to get hold of, as it is quite unconventional. It is worth persevering for a dish of this sort, as there are very few fish which are robust enough to be stewed without disintegrating. If you are not familiar with monkfish, it is firm and meaty, as opposed to cod or haddock. The texture is similar to large prawns. It is simply delicious and a joy to cook with.
Monkfish, unfortunately, is not cheap (at least in the UK). As an alternative, you could substitute the fish for prawns (shrimp) or even use haddock or cod, but add it five minutes towards the end. However, just to reiterate, it is worth the time and cost to preserve the traditional aspects of this dish.
- 500g Monkfish fillets, cut into bitesized pieces
- 2 Medium potatoes, diced
- 1 Medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 Cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 125g Long sweet red pepper (we used a combination of Spanish Pimiento and Romano)
- 125g Vine ripened tomatoes
- 150ml Fish stock
- 150ml Dry white wine
- 3 tbsp Plain flour
- 3 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tbsp Sherry vinegar (red wine vinegar will do)
- 1 tsp Ground cinnamon
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp Salt, plus extra for adjusting the seasoning
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp Chopped parsley
- 2 Hard boiled eggs, sliced
- Cut the red peppers in half lengthways and remove the stalk and seeds. Place under a grill on a high heat for 8 minutes until the skin darkens a little and begins to blister. Remove from the heat and cut into long thin strips.
- Plunge the tomatoes into boiling water for 30 seconds and dunk into ice water. Score the skin remove from the flesh. Discard the skin, chop the flesh coarsely and leave to one side.
- Add the flour to a mixing bowl with the salt, pepper and cinnamon.
- Add the monkfish pieces to the flour and mix until they have an even coating.
- Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large pan and add the fish. Cook for 10 minutes on a medium heat, stirring frequently. Remove and set to one side for later.
- Add the remainder of the oil to the pan with the onion and garlic. Cook on a low to medium heat for 5 minutes until soft.
- Turn the heat up, add the potatoes and cook until they begin to brown and then turn back down to a medium to low heat.
- Add 2/3 of the red peppers to the potatoes and pour in the wine, stock and add the bay leaf. Bring to a gentle simmer, place a lid on the pan and cook for 15 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and fish to the pan, replace the lid and cook for a further 20 minutes.
- Transfer the casserole to a suitable serving bowl. Scatter over the remaining peppers, then the egg slices and finally sprinkle with parsley.
Serve with a green salad mixed with thinly sliced red onion, dressed with a red wine vinaigrette.
We should add, it is worth googling monkfish, so that you can familiarise yourself with its appearance. We have not included a picture as it is probably the most ugly fish in the sea. I guess beauty does come from within.
|Wine Paring||Planalto Douro White Reserva 2009
(£6.99 from Majestic)
A crisp and fresh aromatic white wine from Portugal with a subtle zest that compliments the tomatoes in the dish and allowing the meaty fish to stand proud.