Thursday, 3 November 2011

Monkfish & Onion Squash Tagine

Oh. My. God! This was so much better than I’d expected, for reasons I can’t even really explain. Considering that everything recently (pork belly, roast chicken, sautéed kale to name a few - modesty prevailing clearly) has been quite special, that is going some but this really is very good.

I went to Morocco last year and gorged on tagines which are totally down with my way of cooking really. I’d not cooked one for a while and also had an idea to use some nice meaty monkfish and some sort of squash.

Now there is some debate, I should point out, on whether or not we should be eating monkfish at all - a good succinct piece on the issue can be found here. What is important is that you buy fish that has been responsibly sourced from sustainable fisheries. If you can’t get monkfish however, use another very firm fish (you can ask your fishmonger if in doubt), or even lobster, but that is a a bit decadent!

Anyway, in the end I stumbled across a Mark Hix recipe which I’ve adapted to suit my own palate, and devised a side of my own to use up some of the glut of carrots that came with my last vegbox delivery. Next time I will use at least double the amount of carrot as there was no where near enough and it was very good with the couscous.

Monkfish & Onion Squash Tagine with Sesame & Lemon Roasted Carrot Couscous
Serves 2

200g monkfish fillets, cut into 3cm chunks
salt and freshly ground pepper
a little flour
rapeseed oil
1½ tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1tsp ginger, finely chopped
½ tsp ras el hanout
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp paprika
¼ tsp crushed fennel seeds
good pinch of saffron strands
2 medium tomatoes, de-seeded and roughly diced
500ml fish stock
120g squash (I used onion squash but you could use butternut or munchkin etc), peeled, seeds removed and cut into rough 2cm chunks
60g kalamata olives (stone-in)
½ preserved lemon, halved
1tsp chopped coriander
For the carrot couscous
1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced on the diagonal into 1cm wide pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
juice of ½ lemon
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
½ tsp sesame seeds
100g couscous

Preheat the oven to 210C.

Season the fish pieces and dust lightly with flour then heat some rapeseed oil in frying pan and sauté the fish pieces on a high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side until lightly coloured. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Wipe the pan and then heat the olive oil in it. Over a low heat cook the onions, garlic, chilli, ginger and spices for about 5 minutes until the onions are soft.

Add the tomatoes and stock, season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 30 minutes, until the liquid has reduced by about half. Add the squash and simmer gently for a further 10 minutes.

When you add the squash to the sauce, toss the carrot chunks on a baking tray with the olive oil, lemon juice, red pepper flakes and sesame seeds and place in the oven.

Transfer the sauce to a tagine (or cast iron casserole with a lid if you don’t have a tagine), add the fish, preserved lemon, olives and coriander, stir gently then cover with the lid and place in the hot oven for about 20 minutes or until the fish is just cooked.

Mix the carrots through steamed couscous and serve alongside the tagine, with a little chopped coriander scattered over.

No comments:

Post a Comment