As I write this, I am curled up under a duvet, sitting beside the fire, looking out on the winters day which got lost in Spring, with a box of tissues and a cup of Lemsip. Grim as that may sound, my view is the ocean, so I am not too preoccupied with the fact that I am feeling a little less human than normal. Even less preoccupied as I have this really lovely recipe to share with you. I made this a little while ago, but wanted to post it on a weekend, because I think it is a perfect special Sunday dinner option. Sunday dinners are always special in my family home, and one of the things I look forward to the most when I go home to Ireland. I can’t think of anything better than sitting down to dinner with my Mum, sisters and brothers. it is one of the places I feel the happiest and most content.
This is another gluten free option, and one with a bit of finesse I think. Fish is such an elegant ingredient to cook with, and it pains me to see so many people struggle with it and afraid of it. I can understand why they do, I used to also. What to do with it is always a conundrum. How to give it some flavour. How to cook it properly. What to serve it with. Well hopefully this recipe answers a few of those questions. The sauce here, a roasted red pepper and basil sauce, couldn’t be simpler to make, has loads of flavour, and can be made in advance, making your life easier. Cooking the fish is easy and straightforward, chargrilled to give it some extra flavour. I love monkfish, I think it has great flavour and loads of substance. When roasting the peppers allow them to blacken quite a bit. This charred flavour is what makes this sauce, working well to balance the intense sweetness of the peppers themselves.
800g of Monkfish, 200g per person,
6 red peppers
1 red or yellow Romano pepper
Small handful of basil, and some small leaves to garnish.
125-150g Asparagus (3-4 per person)
4 strips of streaky bacon
-Pre heat your oven to 220 degrees.
-Place the peppers on baking tray covered with tin foil, and roast the peppers for 30-40 minutes, or until nicely blackened on the outside. Turn occasionally.
-When ready, set aside to cool a little for about 5 minutes. Remove the green stalks at the top (careful not to burn your hand) and use a food processor or mini blitzer to blend to a smooth puree.
-Pass the puree through a fine sieve, using the back of a slotted spoon to force through the puree. All you want left behind is the skin and seeds. Don’t waste any puree!!
-Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside (you can make the sauce to this point in advance)
-When ready to start cooking your dish preheat the oven to 200 degrees, and place a bakng tray in it covered with tin foil to begin heating.
-Remove the top and seeds from the Romano pepper and slice into hollow round circles. Set aside.
-Prepare the monkfish and asparagus by dressing liberally with olive oil, salt and pepper.
-Put your sauce, along with the sliced Romano peppers in a small saucepan on a low heat. The sauce will take care of itself while you cook the remaining components of this dish. Keep an eye on it and stir occasionally.
-Put a griddle pan on a high heat. When the griddle is really hot begin to char grill the monkfish. Turn until the fish has been lightly charred on all sides (this should only take 3-4 minutes). Remove the baking tray from the oven, transfer the fish on to it and finish cooking in the preheated oven for a further 10 minutes.
-Bring the griddle back up to heat and chargrill the bacon until crispy-if the pan is hot this should only take 5-7 minutes. When ready set aside and keep warm. (alternatively you can use a grill for this)
-Now chargrill the asparagus for about 5 minutes, turning regularly to ensure even cooking on all sides.
-Within this time you will need to remove the fish from the oven. Don’t worry about serving it immediately. Cover with tin foil and a tea towel and set aside to rest and keep warm until you are ready to serve.
-Finally add the basil to your sauce and stir through.
-When plating up serve the monkfish on the asparagus topped with a piece of crispy bacon, with a little sauce on the side, garnished with small leaves of basil.
Read more about my five weeks of eating gluten free food and creating gluten free recipes!