monkfish-with-a-crab-claw

monkfish-with-a-crab-clawHarry Weir

This dish has a touch of class about it while being fairly rustic in presentation. The dish succeeds on the freshness of the seafood. Have a chat with your fishmonger about what’s the freshest fish they have. You can substitute most fish in this dish; it works great with cod. The smoked salmon adds a great finish to the dish. For the claws, we cook and break our own, but you can get very good frozen ones these days.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 120g crab claws

  • 200g Dublin Bay Prawns

  • 150g cockles

  • 500g good quality linguine

  • 500g monkfish tails, skin removed, your fishmonger can do this for you

  • 50g smoked salmon

  • 1 small onion, or 2 banana shallots, peeled and thinly sliced

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • Knob of butter

  • Glass white wine

  • 500ml cream

  • Pinch salt

  • 1 lemon, juice and zest

  • Sprig thyme

  • Big pinch flat leaf parsley, thinly sliced

  • Pinch of salt

  • 50g capers

  • 1 lemon, cut into four wedges

  • Glug extra virgin olive oil

Method:

  1. The sauce can be made a day ahead. Sweat the onions (or shallots) with the garlic and a knob of butter very gently in a pan, without colouring.

  2. Add the wine and increase the heat to reduce the wine. Keep reducing until there is roughly a quarter of the original amount left.

  3. Add the cream and lower the heat, reducing the cream slightly. (If you leave the wooden spoon in the pot at this stage there is less of a chance of the cream boiling over.)

  4. Strain the sauce and add the salt, lemon zest and juice and the thyme. Taste it and don’t be scared to add a pinch of sugar if it’s a little too zingy.

  5. Combine this sauce with the crab claws, prawns and cockles into a pot. There is no need to heat just yet. 6 Cook the pasta for one minute shorter than the cooking instructions; for the final minute it will be finished in the cream sauce. Agitate the pasta throughout to stop it from sticking, chopsticks are great for this.

  6. While the pasta is cooking, heat a frying pan and add a glug of vegetable oil. Season the monkfish with salt and place into the hot pan. Cook for three minutes both sides, basting it in oil. After the six minutes, add a knob of butter and place the lid (or a plate) on top. It will finish cooking in its own juices and remain warm.

  7. Place the pot with the sauce and seafood onto a gentle heat. The fish will cook gently as the sauce heats up, keeping all of the lovely seafood flavours within the sauce.

  8. The pasta should be just about cooked by now. Check and strain, then pour the pasta into the cream sauce, adding a bit of salt, the capers, the smoked salmon and the chopped parsley.

  9. Divide the pasta, sauce and shellfish among four plates. Place a piece of monkfish on top, serving with the lemon wedges.

Tip: Most fishmongers sell smoked salmon trimmings at a fraction of the price of slices, they are tailor-made for dishes like this so be sure to ask.

Recipe Credit: Chef Gareth Smith, of Michael’s in Mount Merrion

Photography credit: Harry Weir