Wild sea bass with braised beans
1. For the beans: drain the beans and transfer to a large pan.
2. Add in the rosemary, red chilli, bay leaves, onion, carrot and celery. Pour over enough water to cover by 3 centimetres.
3. Bring to the boil and simmer for approximately 1 ½ hours or until the beans are soft. You will need to top up the water from time to time.
4. When the beans are cooked, remove the vegetables, herbs and red chilli. Chop up the chilli and discard the rest.
5. Add the smoked paprika and chopped chilli to the beans. Stir through the pepper, rocket, lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil.
6. For the wild sea bass: pre-heat a frying pan until hot and add the oil.
7. Season the bass skin and fry the fillets skin side down until crisp.
8. Turn the fillets over, add a knob of butter and squeeze of lemon and cook for a further minute.
9. Place a spoonful of the beans on a plate and top it with the bass. Squeeze over the remaining lemon juice and drizzle with olive oil.
Monkfish and pancetta kebabs with sage
1. Whisk together all the ingredients for the salmoriglio and spoon half of the mixture over the monkfish. Turn to coat thoroughly, then leave to marinate for at least half an hour.
2. Cut the strips of pancetta in half, making sure to leave them long enough to wrap round each cube of monkfish. Remove the monkfish from the marinade and wrap a length of pancetta neatly around each cube. Divide the fish cubes evenly amongst the skewers and carefully slip the fish pieces onto them, alternating with sage leaves.
3. Cook over a thoroughly pre-heated barbecue (or pre-heated grill), close to the heat, turning frequently, for about 8-10 minutes, until the pancetta is crisp and the monkfish just cooked through. Brush the kebabs with leftover marinade every now and then as they cook.
4. Serve with the remaining half of the salmoriglio.
juice of 1 1/2 Lemons8 tbsp extra virgin Olive oil1 tbsp dried Oregano,
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
700g monkfish fillet, cut into 4cm cubes
150g Pancetta24 sage leaves
Halibut in green sauce
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/gas 6
2. To make the green sauce, rinse the anchovies under cold running water, then pull out the spine and chop the flesh quite finely.
3. Combine the chopped herbs in a bowl. Add the anchovies, garlic and capers, and season generously with black pepper.
4. Next dribble in the olive oil and whisk until amalgamated, but not oily or too thick.
5. Stir in the chopped egg.
6. Finely chop the cornichons and add these too.
7. Check the flavour. This is a strident sauce and might need more cornichons or garlic.
8. To cook the fish, heat a film of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed, ovenproof frying pan When hot, add the pieces of fish and sear for about 1 minute each side until just sealed and starting to turn opaque. Turn them carefully so they dont flake.
9. Transfer the pan to the top shelf of the oven. Cook for 6-8 minutes, then test with a skewer the fish should not resist.
10. Serve the steaks on warmed plates. Pass round the sauce for everyone to dollop on the fish. Serve with a green salad.
extra virgin Olive oil
6 halibut steaks, on the bone, about 2.5 cm thick
freshly ground salt and black pepper
green salad, to serve
12 salted anchovies,
2 tbsp flat leaf Parsley, finely chopped
2 tbsp Parsley, finely chopped
2 tbsp Mint, finely chopped
1 tbsp Dill, finely chopped
1 tbsp chervil, finely chopped
6 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp capers, rinsed if brine-cured, and chopped
125-150ml extra virgin Olive oil, preferably estate-bottled
1 hard-boiled Egg, finely chopped
freshly ground black pepper
© David Loftus
delicious roasted white fish wrapped in smoked bacon with lemon mayonnaise and asparagus
main courses | serves 4
This combination is a complete win-win. Any robust white fish like haddock or monkfish will work brilliantly, as would whiting and coley, as they are all wonderful carriers of flavours and can handle the stronger tastes of crispy smoked bacon and rosemary. I love this recipe because it treats the fish almost like a piece of meat, with crispy and soft, flaky textures together.
Preheat your oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6. Season your beautiful fish fillets with the rosemary, finely grated lemon zest (no bitter white pith, please) and pepper – you don’t need to use salt because we’re going to wrap the fish in the lovely salty smoked bacon. Lay your rashers of bacon or pancetta on a board and one by one run the flat of a knife along them to thin them and widen them out. Lay 4 rashers together, slightly overlapping, put a fish fillet on top and wrap the rashers around it.
Lightly heat a large ovenproof frying pan, add a splash of olive oil and lay your fish, prettiest side facing up, in the pan. Fry for a minute, then place the pan in your preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, until the bacon is crisp and golden.
While the fish is cooking, you can make your simple lemon mayonnaise. I do this by mixing homemade mayonnaise with a nice amount of lemon juice and pepper. Or, if you’d rather sit down for five minutes with a glass of wine, use some ready-made mayo instead! You want to add enough lemon juice to make the flavour slightly too zingy. This is because, when you eat it with the asparagus and the fish, it will lessen slightly in intensity. And don’t worry if the mayo looks a little thinner than usual when you’ve added the lemon juice – think of it as more delicate.
The asparagus is a great accompaniment because, like the fish, it also loves bacon. You can either boil or steam it; either way it’s light and a nice contrast to the meatiness of the fish. When cooked, toss it in the juices that come out of the fish. Simply serve the fish next to a nice pile of asparagus, drizzled with the lemon-spiked mayonnaise. And if you’re feeling very hungry, serve with some steaming-hot new potatoes.
Monkfish & Scallops With Samphire Coulis
This is a very elegant dish and is fairly simple to make for that "special dinner" with friends!!! Served with a perfectly chilled wine, we are sure that you'll be the "hostess with the mostest" and deemed to be extremely clever!!!
You will need:
1 medium potato
½ pint chicken stock
A pinch of nutmeg
fresh lemon juice
A pinch of white pepper
1. Finely chop the leek and potato in a little butter in a small pan until soft but not coloured.
2. Add the chicken stock and simmer until the potato is cooked before adding the samphire. Cook/steam for a further minute only since you want to retain the lovely green of the samphire.
3. Liquidize and pass through a sieve which can be done a little in advance.
4. Reheat but do not boil and add the nutmeg, lemon juice and pepper to taste. Do not add salt since this is added naturally by the samphire!
The rest of the dish is easy since the breadcrumbs can be prepared in advance but don’t flour the fish and cook until the very last moment. For that you need:
4 pieces of Monkfish (around 185g each)
6 scallops (total approx 250g)
Olive oil & butter
5 tbsp of breadcrumbs flavoured with lemon zest & chopped herbs
1. Coat the Monkfish and Scallops in a little seasoned flour and fry in a little olive oil and butter in an oven proof dish until the fish is golden on both sides.
2. Remove the scallops and keep them warm.
3. Sprinkle the flavoured breadcrumbs over the Monkfish and bake in a hot oven 220°C/425°F/Gas 7/ Aga roasting oven, second bottom shelf and bake for 4 minutes to crispen the crumbs.
4. Serve in a puddle of the samphire coulis.