Wednesday 12 August 2015

Baked Monkfish Tail with Bacon Sauce on Samphire Salad

It's the first night of our inaugural summer holiday trip and we are staying at the lovely Wyatts Covert site in Denham to the west of London. Usually I would be seeking to cook local dishes but after a quick dash to the nearby Tesco I couldn't resist picking up a monkfish tail for Mrs Larry and myself to share. We are on a bit of a health kick at the moment so low fat and low carb is the order of the day but hopefully without losing any flavour. A bacon and shallot sauce made from Patum Peperiums gentlemens relish should pack all the punch that is needed. The fishmonger at Tesco had a big bunch of samphire for sale too, I can't resist its salty taste of the sea so that's tonight's dinner sorted!


1x Monkfish Tail
1x Lemon, unwaxed and sliced
Back bacon, fat removed and diced
1x Banana shallot, diced
Dill, finely chopped
Patum Peperiums Gentlemens Relish (see pic below)

For the salad:
1x Bag of samphire
Cauliflower florets
Broad beans, podded
Radish, thinly sliced
Black olives, drained and halved
Chili's (we used a jar of sweet pearls, see pic below)


1. Get your fishmonger to prepare the monkfish tail by removing the outer membrane. All you then have to do is plop it in a lightly greased tin foil parcel, top with salt and pepper and the sliced lemons, seal the parcel up and put in the oven on gas mark 5 for 20 minutes. That's the fish done, easy even in a caravan.
2. To prepare the salad bring a pan of water (not salted) to the boil and drop in your podded broad beans. Scoop them out when they float and allow to cool to the touch.
3. Gently pull apart the broad bean skins to reveal the emerald jewels. Discard the skins and set aside the beans. You can omit this step if its early in the season or if you don't mind the skins. It is a bit of a fancy faf to be honest.
4. Into the pan go the cauliflower florets and simmer for about 5 minutes.
5. Remove the cauliflower from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
6. Into the hot water now goes the samphire for 1.5 minutes only. We are literally just very quickly blanching it.
7. For the bacon sauce lightly grease a frying pan on a medium heat and add the chopped bacon and shallots. Stir continuously until done, about 5 minutes will do.
8. Add a ladle of veggie cooking water to the frying pan and half a teaspoon of gentlemen s relish.
9. Remove the monkfish from the oven and pour the juices in the foil pouch into the frying pan. Let the fish rest.
10. Simmer the bacon sauce for a few minutes then add a handful of chopped dill and a spot of black pepper.
11. Plate up on a sharing platter. Start by covering the platter with samphire then sprinkle over the remaining salad ingredients. Top with the monkfish, then the bacon sauce and finish off with capers and more chopped dill.

We found these Chilli Pepper Pearls in Tesco's at Denham and what a find they were. They are sweet and juicy with a slight kick and a perfect accompaniment to any salad.

Patum Peperium Gentelemen's Relish. It's a curious name for sure and cannot help bring a smirk to the face of a mischievous mind. I mean, what is a Patum Peperium!? ;)

Nevertheless this stuff is awesome simply spread on hot buttered toast but it can also be used to add so much flavour to your cooking. I'll be experimenting with it for sure.

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