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Saturday, 26 June 2010

Roast Monkfish with Olive Oil Mash & Aubergine

The week-end is the only time I can go to the fishmonger's; it normally opens when I am already off to work and closes before I get back home. Therefore, Saturday morning is the ideal time to pay him a visit and stock up on the fish I am going to freeze and use for our mid-week dinners. However, I can tell you right away that the freezing part is out of bare necessity (as I can't buy it every day, as I mentioned). If you want to eat fish, the best way to enjoy it is definitely fresh! So when I saw these glistening, pearly monkfish fillets this morning, I simply could not bring myself to do anything else but use them for our evening meal.

INGREDIENTS (for two people)

  • 2 monkfish fillets
  • One aubergine
  • One large, ripe tomato
  • Half a red onion
  • 4 medium-sized potatoes
  • A splash of milk
  • A couple of knobs of butter
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary
  • Half a lemon
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
Start by marinating the fish. Because monkfish tends to release its milky juices when cooking, prevent this by salting it to drain the excess moisture. Chop a sprig of rosemary and squeeze the juice of one lemon, then cover with cling film and leave the fish in its marinade for about one hour.
Chop your aubergine and tomato in small cubes, and slice your red onion finely. Put them in a tray, drizzle generously with olive oil, season with salt, pepper and two rosemary sprigs them and roast them in the oven at 180°C for about 40 minutes, stirring them every 10 minutes or so, until soft and caramelised. Leave to rest on the side. 

Cut the potatoes in large chunks and boil them in salted water until soft. Drain and return them to the pan; mash roughly with a potato masher, add a splash of milk, two knobs of butter, a generous glug of olive oil, some salt and beat it up with a hand-held whisker, until your mash is fluffy and lump-free.  Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. 
Now, it's time for la pièce de résistance: the monkfish! Get a non-stick pan as hot as you can; take your fillets out of the marinade, pat them dry with kitchen paper, drizzle them with a little olive oil and drop them in the hot pan. What you are doing is searing the fish prior to roasting it, so that it acquires an attractive colour and delicious flavour. Sear each side of the fillets for a couple of minutes, then transfer them into a hot oven (about 200°C) to roast for about 10 -15 minutes. 

Warm up your roasted vegetables by returning them to the oven for three minutes. Spoon some mash potato onto a plate, drizzle with some more olive oil, arrange the monkfish fillet on top and spoon the roasted aubergines on the fillet and all around the mash. Tuck in right away!

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