Monkfish Forestière

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Monkfish “Forestière”…

Like I was saying in my latest story “The Juice”, the last time I have done this recipe, was eighteen years ago; I was a cook in Galway’s Nimmo’s Wine Bar… Eighteen years, boom! That went in a flash! I don’t really know why I haven’t done it again until last week, and today, I decided to share it with you. A personal creation when as a young cook, I realised that Monkfish goes very well with Earthy flavours. On this beautiful Friday evening, I hope you will enjoy it as much as “Long Walk” wine bar’s customers did all these years ago…

For the sauce: you’ll need… ( all organic)

  • 2 shallots finely chopped
  • 2 small leeks finely sliced
  • 5 Chestnut mushrooms finely sliced
  • A dash of white wine ( 20cl)
  • 25cl of fresh cream
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • Freshly milled black pepper
  • A tsp of good pesto

For the sauce: how to…

Slice all the ingredients like in the picture below; in a hot pan with olive oil, fry and toss with the sea salt. Pour the glass of white wine and let it reduce by 3/4. Pour the fresh cream, and reduce the heat, allowing it to reduce by half.

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Trio of vegetables, chopped…

Sauté the lot in a pan with olive oil, then pour the white wine…

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White wine after a wee sweat…

Like I said earlier, pour the cream at that stage; when it reduces from about half its volume, add the tsp of pesto and mix together. Set aside until the rest of the recipe is done. You will just have to re-heat the sauce, it will take no time…

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Organic pesto from Piedmont at the end…

Ok, so you were probably wondering what the circular prop was behind the fish on the first picture uh? I call it a “Rosace”, made of cheese. I used a sheep’s milk cheese from Tipperary, called Caís na Tire ( Country Cheese), made by my friend Marion Roeleveld of Killeen Farmhouse Cheese, in Co. Galway. It is matured in Terryglass, county “Tipp”, by farmers Barry & Lorraine Cahalan; here is how you do it. First, grate finely 100g of the cheese. It has to be quite matured, at least 6 months old and you can do it with Parmigiano Reggiano too. This is quite “chefy”, but it actually brings a pleasant surprise to the dish… Grate 100g of cheese, and place a rough pinch on a non stick baking tray; the natural fat of the cheese will take care of the rest, don’t panic…

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Caís na Tire ready to bake…

Bake them in a hot oven, until golden; it should take about ten minutes max. Once done, lift them off the tray with a spatula or the tip of a knife and let them cool. You won’t need to reheat them, just a nice cheesy crispy treat that will go well with the dish…

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Sheep’s milk cheese ” Rosaces”

For the fish: you’ll need

  • 200g of Monkfish tail
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste

How to:

Well, I think all fish has to be treated with upmost respect; cut the Monkfish in medium pieces, not too small, not too big. Fry in olive oil for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side; absolute max. I didn’t coat the pieces with flour this time, but if you scrape the bottom of the pan, you can use the “scratch” as extra flavour for your roasties… I used celeriac fries for this dish, to go on the side…

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Naked frying…

For the side order, I decided to do some Celeriac fries; peal the root, and cut them in wedges. Place on a tray with olive oil, salt and papper and bake at 200c for 20c…

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Celeriac Wedges

Now, we are ready for a bit of “Mise en place”, which means let’s put the dish together in chef like slang… But before, look how beautiful the wedges look with Monkfish scratchings? ( if you dont mind me saying…).

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Celeriac Fries with “scratchings”…

Re-heat the sauce and serve… Here is an over view of the dish…

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Monkfish Forestière with Celeriac fries and Caís na Tire rosace…

Anyhoo, I hope you enjoy it…

 

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Monkfish “Forestière”…

Before I say goodbye, I would like to dedicate this post to Harriet Leander, the Finnish Galway legend who gave back to me some self confidence at a time when I needed it most. Just for this, I will love and respect you forever!

 

Keep Well and Eat Happy,

Slán Tamall

Franck

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