Firm, meaty monkfish works well in so many ways. Here we fry it quite simply with a little seasoning, and pair it up with an extremely moreish potato cake.
Serves 430 mins preparation, 40 mins cooking
200g unsalted butter
8 spring onions
4 medium potatoes
Sea salt and milled black pepper
2 tablespoons plain flour
700g monkfish fillet, trimmed and divided into 4
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
150ml crème fraîche
1 dessert spoon ground cumin
Small packet of rocket leaves
Pre-heat the oven to 140°C/gas mark 1.
Start by clarifying the butter. To do this, melt it gently in a pan, then leave it to settle and scoop off any solids that form on the surface. Carefully ladle the clear melted butter into a bowl, discarding the milky residue that is left behind.
Prepare the spring onions by peeling off any tired outer leaves, then cut them lengthways into fine strips.
Peel the potatoes and grate onto a clean tea towel. Wrap the towel around the grated potato and squeeze it firmly over the sink to remove as much starch as possible.
Heat a medium frying pan and add 3 tablespoons of the clarified butter, then half the grated potatoes. Using a spoon, gently press the potato into a flat, round shape. Season with salt and pepper, spread the spring onions over, and cover with the remaining potato.
Cook gently for 8-10 minutes until the bottom is browned. You should hear the potatoes sizzling, so if they get too dry, add more clarified butter. Turn the potato cake by carefully sliding it onto a plate and flipping it over, back into the pan. Add more clarified butter if necessary and cook on that side for another 8-10 minutes until brown.
Transfer the potato cake onto a wire rack over a baking sheet, and keep it warm in the oven while you cook the monkfish.
Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat. Put the flour on a small plate and season with salt and pepper. Dust each piece of monkfish with the flour.
Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of clarified butter to the pan. Carefully place the monkfish in the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden.
When it’s cooked, squeeze half of the lemon juice over it, then keep it warm in the oven with the potato cake.
In a small bowl, mix the crème fraîche, remaining lemon juice and cumin.
Divide the potato cake into four. Place each piece onto a small bunch of rocket in the centre of the plate. Set the monkfish on top, drizzle with the pan juices and serve with the crème fraîche mixture.