Monkfish with preserved lemons.

The plan for Sunday lunch was to take advantage of my “once a week meat allowance” and make slow cooked lamb tangia with preserved lemons, roughly guided by the Casa Moro recipe. However, I realised (luckily while Steve Hatt was still open on Saturday) that a couple of my guests were pescatarian.

So, as well as 6 lamb shanks, I bought about 400g of very meaty, filleted monkfish, and decided to experiment with marinating the fish in the same preserved lemon mix as I used for the lamb, and then pan fry it. It worked out very well indeed, so here it is.

Many thanks to friend and neighbour John B for the preserved lemons. Should you want to make your own, the Casa Moro second cookbook has a recipe.

Ingredients to serve 2:

400 g filleted monkfish in 2, 200g pieces

For the marinade, finely chop:

  • 1 preserved lemon.
  • ½ an onion.
  • 1 glove garlic.
  • Handful of coriander leaf.
  • Teaspoon of cumin seed, crushed in a pestle and mortar
  • Salt and pepper.

What to do, roughly speaking.

Blitz the lemon, onion, garlic, coriander leaf, crushed cumin seeds, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor.

Place the monkfish in a shallow bowl and marinate in this preserved lemon, onion, herb and spice mix for 2 hours. Turn it from time to time so that it soaks up the flavours on all sides.

Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan until smoking, then turn down the heat a little, lift the fish out of the marinade and place it in the pan.

Cover the pan and fry the fish for about 3 minutes, moving it around a gently to stop it from sticking. No need to turn the fish over – let it cook through from the bottom up.

After about 3 minutes, remove the lid from the pan, spoon the marinade over the fish and then replace the lid.

Continue frying for another 5 or 6 minutes. The fish should be cooked right through, and a little crispy on the bottom. If the top still looks raw, cook it for another couple of minutes.

Spoon some of the marinade over the top to serve.

I served it with roast fennel and peppers, mashed potatoes and bobby beans.


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