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Seasonal Recipe of the Week – Monkfish tails roasted with capers, bacon and parsley with marsh samphire, by Mike Robinson

19 March 2012

Ingredients
(Serves four)
100g butter
4 x 250g monkfish tails
2 unwaxed lemon, grated zests and juice kept separate
2 large shallots, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
100g smoked bacon lardon, very finely chopped
2tbs baby capers
75ml dry white wine
1 small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
A large handful of marsh samphire, to serve

Method
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Heat a non-stick, oven-proof pan over a medium high heat. For each portion, add a small pat of butter and when it foams add the monkfish tail and brown it on both sides. Season with salt and pepper.

Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the fish and transfer to the oven to bake for 10 minutes. Check the fish is hot throughout. Push a skewer or knife into the thick part of the fish - if it comes out hot, the fish will be done; it should take no more than 15 minutes. Remove the fish from the oven, take it out of the pan and allow it to rest.

Meanwhile, add a little more butter to the pan and throw in the shallots, garlic and lardons. Cook over a high heat for a few minutes, until the bacon is cooked. Add the capers, a final squeeze of lemon juice and some grated lemon zest. Pour in the white wine.

Baste the monkfish in the pan for two to three minutes, then add the parsley and shake the pan once or twice more.

Pour boiling water over the samphire, then drain and lay out on a platter. Lay the monkfish tails on the bed of samphire and then spoon the bacon and caper mix over the top.
Mike Robinson, chef-proprietor, Pot Kiln, Frilsham

Recommended wine

Monkfish is quite a meaty fish and along with the bacon would require a full-bodied wine, the vinegar element in the capers would also require something crisp and high in acidity. I would recommend a Riesling from Alsace, which is full bodied and steely in character. Choose a young vintage, like the 2009.
Ronan Sayburn MS is director of wine and spirits at Hotel du Vin

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