Monkfish on the bone, spiced butter and fennel

Monkfish on the bone, spiced butter and fennel

By
From
Everyday Seafood
Serves
4

Monkfish marinated and cooked this way is particularly special. This fish really benefits from being cooked on the bone, as it helps to stop the flesh shrinking too much. It works well on the barbecue, but make sure you get the coals white hot or it will stick and you’ll lose some of the marinade as a result. The spiced butter dressing enhances the flavour perfectly.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1.2-1.5kg monkfish tail on the bone, trimmed of sinew and skin
100ml sunflower oil
2 lemons, zest finely grated
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tender rosemary sprig, leaves picked and finely chopped
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the spiced butter dressing

Quantity Ingredient
200g unsalted butter
1 rosemary sprig
2 lemons, zest finely grated and juiced
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 shallots, peeled and chopped
2 large gherkins, finely chopped
2 teaspoons small capers in brine, drained and rinsed
4 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

For the fennel

Quantity Ingredient
2 fennel bulbs, tough outer layer removed, cut into quarters
olive oil, to drizzle

Method

  1. Place the monkfish in a dish and add the oil, lemon zest, cayenne, nutmeg, rosemary, salt and pepper. Turn the fish to coat, cover with cling film and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 (or up to 6) hours.
  2. If you are barbecuing, light your barbecue at least 30 minutes before you plan to cook, or preheat the grill.
  3. For the spiced butter dressing, heat the butter and rosemary in a pan over a medium heat until the butter has melted and begins to turn brown. Immediately take the pan off the heat and add the lemon zest, cayenne, nutmeg, a pinch of salt and the shallots. Remove the rosemary.
  4. For the fennel, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the fennel and cook for 6–8 minutes until it starts to soften but is still quite firm. Drain and place on a tray to cool. Drizzle with olive oil and season.
  5. When the coals are white hot or the grill is ready, remove the monkfish from the marinade and lay on the barbecue grid or grill rack. Cook for 4 minutes, then turn the fish over and cook for a further 4 minutes. Remove and set aside to rest on a warmed plate while you barbecue or grill the fennel for 5 minutes, turning to colour as necessary.
  6. Meanwhile, finish the dressing. Put the lemon juice, gherkins, capers and chopped parsley into a small pan and add any cooking juices from the grill tray. Now add the spiced butter and give the dressing a good stir. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Heat the dressing until it is just too hot to hold your finger in it, then remove from the heat.
  7. To serve, briefly put the monkfish back on the barbecue or under the grill to warm through for a couple of minutes. Place the fennel and the monkfish on a warmed platter and spoon on the spiced butter dressing. Serve in the centre of the table and let everyone help themselves.
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