monkfish chorizo and mushrooms
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They had this thing on Saturday Kitchen television programme where guest celebrities specified their food heaven and hell. The viewers texted in and, depending on how likeable the celeb is, they ruled the heavenly or hellish dish to be served to the guest.
Now I’d never reveal my most hateful food if I featured on the programme in the likely event of being forced to eat it. I’d name a safer option, like cod or chicken tagine. No matter how ginormous the TV chefs’ efforts, I would never want to be forced to ingest kale.
The point of that particular stunt was of course to persuade the celeb and viewers that even the most hateful things can be cooked so magically, they’ll become delightful. And so it did sometimes happen, the plateful hovered up to gasps of awe and surprise. I don’t believe they were genuine; I think they had made like I purported to and lied about their most hateful dishes.
Truth or lies aside, I actually endeavoured a ‘food hell’ experience recently, cooking monkfish for The Weather Man. It’s not exactly his hell but he’s not too keen. The result, I’m pleased to say, could have been televised: he claimed I managed to cook monkfish into a tasty dish. And before the monkfish fans turn away thinking it’s not a recipe for them, let me reassure you: it was still very much the meaty, firm-textured but tender, delicious fish. It’s just some people don’t know a thing, do they?
monkfish chorizo and mushroomsServings: 2Time: about an hour
- 200g (6oz.) monkfish tail fillet, trimmed
- 1 tsp salt
- zest and juice from 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp. plain flour
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 200g (6oz.) spicy cooking chorizo, sliced
- ½ cup groundnut oil
- 250g (8oz.) wild or exotic mushrooms, roughly chopped
- salt and pepper
- ½ small glass of white wine
- 1 tbsp. ketchup
Sprinkle the monkfish fillet with salt and chill for 30 minutes, to remove some moisture. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Cut the monkfish into bite-sized pieces and drizzle with half the lemon juice. Mix the flour, paprika, the lemon zest and garlic on a shallow plate.
Heat up a large frying pan or skillet. Fry the chorizo slices on both sides until crisp, adding a tablespoon of oil if it does not render much fat. Remove onto a plate and keep warm.
Lift the monkfish pieces from the lemon juice and dredge them in the flour mix to coat. Add most of the groundnut oil to the same pan as the chorizo was frying in, heat it up until shimmering and add the monkfish pieces. Fry on both sides in batches, if necessary, until charred and crisp, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove them onto the plate and keep warm.
Keep the pan over high heat; add the remaining oil and the mushrooms. Season them with salt and pepper and stir fry for about 5 minutes until wilted and coloured. Add the wine into the pan and cook it down until almost evaporated. Stir in the ketchup, check the taste and add more lemon juice if necessary.
Return the fish and chorizo to the pan on top of the mushrooms to heat them up. Spoon onto plates keeping the fish and chorizo on top of piles of mushrooms and serve immediately.