Monday, 30 May 2016

Monkfish Cheek Coconut Curry Stew with Carrot and Fennel

To be honest the name Padma Lakshmi to me was just someone who had been married to Salman Rushdie and who had had a modeling career but in fact it seems she’s published a couple of food related books as well as presenting some cookery shows.

I stumbled across a recipe of hers for mahi mahi which was the inspiration for this monkfish curry as that was what I fancied cooking for some reason.

I made a trip to Borough Market, and specifically Sussex Fish asking the very nice guy on the stall for some monkfish - he persuaded me to get monkfish cheeks instead as they’re half the price, there’s no bone to bugger about with and he assured me they’d be just as good in my curried stew. Sold!

If you are in the area and need some fish I’d definitely get to Sussex Fish, in the Green Market, for some excellent and helpful advice for your fish shopping: a great range there too and good prices.

This is very subtly and interestingly flavoured as it stands but you could certainly ramp up the spicing if you wanted something a little bolder.

Monkfish, Carrot & Fennel Coconut Curry
serves 2

300g monkfish cheeks
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
sea salt
2 tbsp coconut (or sunflower) oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
½ large or 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
2 dried red chiles
6 fresh curry leaves
1 ½ tsp fresh ginger, minced
2 kaffir lime leaves
½ fennel bulb , cored and cut into 1-inch long batons
1 carrot, peeled cut into 1-inch long batons
1 tsp Madras curry powder
225 ml coconut milk
½ tsp fish sauce
small handful coriander leaves, to serve

Put the monkfish in a shallow dish, season lightly with salt and pour over the lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

In a large heavy based sauté pan heat the oil and then add the shallots and cook over a moderate heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and for a couple of minutes more.

Add the chillies and curry leaves and cook for 2 minutes before adding the ginger and lime leaves and cooking for a further 2 minutes.

Add the fennel, carrots and curry powder and season lightly with salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

Add the coconut milk and fish sauce and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring a few times, until the carrots are tender, about 10 minutes longer.

Add the monkfish and any accumulated juices to the casserole give a good stir then cover and gently simmer over low heat until it is just cooked, 3-5 minutes.

Serve with plain rice and garnish with coriander leaves.

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