Roast Monkish, Creamed Fennel & Mussels
This is a deliciously rich and satisfying fish dish which is particularly good served with homemade gnocchi.
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees
In a large pan gently heat the olive oil. Add the fennel, garlic, shallots, thyme and bay, and sweat over a low heat. Stir occasionally until it starts to soften.
Meanwhile heat another pan large enough to take all the mussels. Once hot, add the cleaned mussels and a splash of water, cover with the lid and steam until the mussels have opened. Tip into a colander over a bowl to catch the mussel juice. Once cool enough to handle, remove the mussel meats from their shells and set aside until needed. Discard the shells, but retain half of the juice (make sure to avoid any grit or dirt in the bottom of the pan).
Once the fennel has started to soften, add the wine and cook slowly with the lid on until the fennel is tender. At this point remove the lid and reduce away the cooking liquor until almost dry. Add the mussel juice and the cream and reduce to a nice sauce consistency. Set aside until needed.
Now heat a frying pan large enough to accommodate the four portions of monkfish. Season the monkfish with salt and pepper. Add a splash of you preferred cooking oil and once smoking hot gently put the monkfish pieces into the pan and cook until golden brown, then turn over and do the same. Once nicely browned on both sides transfer to a suitable oven dish and roast for 6/7 mins until cooked.
Whilst the monkfish is roasting reheat the fennel sauce, adding the mussels and heating until hot through. Add the chopped dill and taste, adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Serve with potatoes or homemade gnocchi.
4 x 160-200g Monkfish portions with all skin and membrane removed
4 small bulbs of fennel, peeled & cut into ½ inch slices
4 large shallots, peeled and sliced
4 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 bay leaves, torn
4 sprigs of thyme
200ml white wine
2tbsp olive oil
300ml double cream
Small bunch of dill, finely chopped
300ml double cream
20/30 large mussels, scrubbed and washed