Monkfish is a beautifully textured fish and so meaty that it can stand up to proper flavours – move over white wine and parsley, I’m talking chorizo and garlic and smoked paprika (okay, and a teensy bit of parsley).
At once easy to make and completely dinner party-proof, this is a dish of two halves – cook up the stew beforehand and then just pan-fry the monkfish before serving.
A quick note on monkfish preparation: It is a slightly weird dinosaur-like fish – one alarmingly ugly and enormous head and then a body with only one bone (a chunky spine with no ribcage at all) so it’s perfect for filleting. That said, once skinned, you still need to remove the pinky membrane or ‘silver skin’ which is a bit like an under-skin. Remove it with a sharp knife as you would the skin of a normal fish (the outer skin on a monkfish can actually just be ripped off) and then you’re good to go. If you don’t remove it, it gets pretty rubbery and shrinks as you cook the fish so you end up with something that looks like un-rendered fat on bacon…you’ve been warned!
Monkfish with quick chorizo & butterbean stew
For the stew:
– 1/2 onion, diced
– 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
– 1 tin chopped tomatoes
– 1 tablespoon tomato puree
– 1 tin butter beans
– 3-4 roasted peppers (from a jar – so naughty but amazing!)
– 1/4 teaspooon smoked paprika
For the monkfish:
– knob butter**
– 400g monkfish fillets, skin & membrane off, cubed
– small handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
*If you’re making a gluten-free version, check your chorizo ingredients for gluten.
**Substitute with dairy-free spread or a little sunflower oil for a dairy-free option.
In a deep pan over a medium heat, cook the chorizo for a few minutes until it begins to release its oils. Add the onion and sweat for about five minutes, being careful not to brown it, until it is soft and translucent.
Add the garlic, tomatoes, tomato puree, beans, peppers, smoked paprika, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Simmer for about 15 minutes.
Season the monkfish with salt and pepper. In a frying pan on a medium heat, add the butter and get it bubbling away. Add the monkfish and cook for about 10 minutes, basting every couple of minutes, until cooked through. Tip: If you poke it and it’s springy, it’s cooked.
Serve the stew in bowls, with the monkfish on top and sprinkled with the parsley.
Source: Recipe and photos by pip & little blue.