Saturday, 4 May 2013

Monkfish Basquaise

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I love Basque food and despite not being a huge fan of fish this really is one for everybody, fish loving or not. Spicy tomato sauce with peppers done in a variety of ways brings contrasting flavours and textures making for a comforting yet stunning dinner.

Serves 2

2 Monkfish fillets, seasoned with pepper
6 slices Serrano ham
2-3 tbsp olive oil
2 large tomatoes, de-seeded, de-skinned and chopped
1 red onion, finely diced
1 red chilli, chopped
2-3 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 yellow pepper
1 Ramiro pepper
300ml vegetable stock
50g butter, unsalted
2 cloves garlic, chopped

1. For the tomato sauce, add a tablespoon of the oil to a pan and add the onion and garlic over a medium heat, sweat for 2-3 minutes then add the tomatoes and chilli, stir in the tomato puree and a couple of drops of water along with the bay leaf and thyme, cook for 10-15 minutes adding more water if it becomes too dry, season and keep warm.

2. Prehead the oven to 220C.Wrap the Monkfish fillets in the Serrano ham and heat an ovenproof frying pan over a high heat with the remaining oil. Sear for 30secs-1 minute on all sides and place in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Keep warm.

3. For the peppers, de-seed and chop the yellow and red peppers and place in separate pans with the stock divided between the two, simmer for 10-15 minutes until soft and easily pierced with a knife. Remove the peppers from the stock and puree in a blender, you may need a little of the stock if the mixture does not puree straight away. Strain through a sieve into a clean pan and keep warm.

4. To finish, whisk 25g butter into each of the pepper puree's to give it a shine. Place the tomato sauce into a mould and place in the centre of the plate. Slice the Monkfish fillets in half and stand on the tomato sauce, divide the pepper purees to either side of the plate and serve.

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