Last Friday was my mother’s anniversary, and after 19 years of absence, I still like to make a little something special to mark the occasion. I was on my own, and since we were reaching the end of the week, my fridge and food press (cupboard) looked like a Russian supermarket in the 80’s. I closed the shop and called in to my Friends next door, owners of The Forge restaurant. I knew what I had at home, and wanted to use it before getting my usual Saturday shopping. I fancied a bit of fish, and I know that they have a great supplier. Pauric gave me a nice piece of monkfish for one, we have helped each other for years now, and like a friend of mine said when I was telling her the story: “you know you have great neighbours when you can do things like that”, and she is right, even if I don’t really make a habit of it to be honest. Driving back home, I started to chuckle and thought of a great one liner: “You know when you have socializing issues, when you go to the restaurant next door to get your ingredients and cook your own dinner at home”. There is a bit of truth there, for sure!
Here is the recipe:
You’ll need: ( all the ingredients were organic)
- 1 Celeriac
- 200g of green or puy lentils
- 1 Monkfish tail
- Chestnut flour for dusting
- Hemp oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 50g of cured sliced pancetta
First, start with what takes the longest; in this case, the lentils. From cold, simmer 2 parts water for 1 part lentils for about 20 minutes or until soft. Do not salt the water until the end, as the lentils might get a bit bitter otherwise.
Roughly peel the celeriac with a knife and cut it into 2cm cubes. From cold and in salted water, bring to the boil with 2 cloves of garlic and simmer for 15 minutes, until soft. Drain and put in a container suitable for blending. Whiz until smooth.
For the pancetta slices, place them on a baking tray and in a hot oven (200c) it goes for 10 minutes. Remove the pancetta crisps and place them on kitchen paper until serving time.
Cut the fish in three or four pieces, cover them well with chestnut flour and fry in olive oil for about 5 minutes on each side.
Serve the lentils first with a bit of hemp oil, a bit of the celeriac mash on the side, the monkfish on top and season with good sea salt or fleur de sel and black pepper.
Keep well and Eat Happy