Whilst salmon, cod and seabass are go-to fishes for many people, I do like to try and use a good variety of fish in my cooking and choosing fish from British shores, whenever I can. I am proud to create recipes for Sainsburys, who I’ve been shopping with for over 30 years, whose new range of ‘Fishmonger’s Choice’ of fresh fish offers Monkfish, Dover Sole and Whiting which are all in season right now, with more seasonal varieties being added to the range next year.
70% of the fish consumed in the UK is still made up of the five most popular varieties consumed in the UK. Dubbed the ‘Big five’, those varieties are: Cod, Haddock, Salmon, Tuna and Prawns and whilst they are delicious, there are plenty more varieties from our own shores which deserve to be more popular than they are. Monkfish is a firm and meaty fish and a great favourite of mine because it can hold an abundance of spice and pairs well with stronger flavours, sauces and marinades.
I have created this simple recipe using the gorgeous fillets from the Fishmongers Choice range and made a hearty, warming and comforting stew perfect for this time of year. It is super simple, has bags of flavour and a big hunk of bread on the side is all you really need.
400g monkfish fillets, diced roughly into 1.5 inch chunks
1 large onion, thinly sliced into half moons
3 fat garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
A couple of good handfuls of peeled and diced butternut squash (roughly 1 inch cubes)
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of chilli flakes
½ teaspoon of cinnamon
400g tin of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
A handful of chopped parsley or coriander to garnish
A little vegetable/olive oil for frying
Crusty bread to serve **optional**
In a large pan over a medium heat, drizzle in a little oil and soften the onions until they begin to turn golden around the edges, then add the spices and stir well. Add the squash and stir fry for a few minutes until they begin to soften a little and add the garlic and mix well and fry together for a few more minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.
Add the chopped tomatoes to the mixture, stir well and reduce the heat to a low setting. Place a lid over the pan and allow the sauce and ingredients to simmer gently for 20 minutes, ensuring you stir it every now and again. After 20 minutes, add the beans, stir once and replace lid and cook for a further 10-15 minutes.
In a separate frying pan over a medium-high heat, drizzle in a little oil. Season the monkfish with salt and pepper and then fry lightly for a minute or so on each side and remove. Don’t be tempted to cook them any longer as they will continue to cook in the tagine sauce.
Remove the lid of the Tagine sauce, stir and then transfer the pieces of Monkfish from the pan, into the Tagine sauce and serve with a final garnish of fresh of fresh parsley or coriander.