Town & Country (UK)
Down in Exmouth, we recognise we’re in a place of outstanding beauty, and want to give people the chance to pop in, grab a drink and go for a stroll down to the beach on a nice sunny day, so we’re opening a new bar and restaurant and a café-pâtisserie-glacerie called Mickeys. We’ll be serving a version of this monkfish there, accompanied by mussels from the River Exe, with a mild madras curry powder made from lovely blended spices from southern India, mustard to add a little acidity, and aniseed notes from fresh tarragon. All these flavours are absorbed beautifully by the monkfish to make a light and aromatic Easter feast. Michael Caines is the executive chef of Lympstone Manor in Exmouth. Mickeys Beach Bar and Restaurant will open in Exmouth’s Sideshore in March (www.mickeysbeach.co.uk).
MONKFISH WITH MUSSELS AND A MUSTARD SAUCE
Serves four INGREDIENTS
FOR THE MONKFISH 1 tbsp curry powder 600g monkfish tail, cut into 12 medallions Olive oil 20g unsalted butter Juice of 1 lemon
FOR THE MUSSELS
400g mussels, washed and cleaned 40g unsalted butter 40g shallots, chopped 1 bay leaf, a sprig of fresh thyme and chopped fresh tarragon 50ml white wine A pinch of saffron 25ml double or whipping cream 500ml fish stock 1 tsp grain mustard
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Mix the curry powder and one teaspoon of salt together. Season the fish with the curry salt and a good twist of black pepper. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick ovenproof frying pan, then add the fish and 20g of butter. Cook over a medium heat until the fish is golden brown, then turn it over and put the pan into the oven for approximately three minutes. Remove, squeeze over the lemon juice and set aside to rest.
Wash and clean the mussels. Melt 20g of butter in a large saucepan, add the shallots and cook until they are soft and transparent. Pop in the bay leaf, thyme, tarragon and wine and bring to the boil, then add the mussels and cover. Once the mussels have opened, pour them into a colander over a bowl and leave to drain (discard any mussels that have not opened). Pour the cooking liquid back into the saucepan, add the saffron, cream and fish stock. Bring to the boil, then whisk in the remaining butter and simmer until reduced to a creamy consistency. Add the grain mustard, season and finish with chopped tarragon.
To serve, reheat the monkfish in the oven for a few minutes, then transfer to your plates. Pour the cooked mussels over the top and spoon over the sauce.