Category Archives for Fish

Monkfish Au Vin

monkfish au vin | cocklesandmussels.com

Sweet meaty monkfish poached in a red wine infused with garlic and herbs.

If you’d never eaten monkfish before and you asked somebody to describe its taste they’d probably say something like hummm….well…….its a bit like chicken. A good description because it hits the nail on the head. If there’s one fish that has a meaty quality to it than i’d have to agree its monkfish. Its got a mild, sweet, and succulent flavour with a texture and colour very similar to that of a chicken fillet.

Its little wonder then that a lot of the flavours that work really well with chicken marry well with monkfish too. I’ve done this before with my sticky lemon and thyme monkfish recipe, and here I go again but this time I’m recreating the French classic coq au vin, but using monkfish in place of chicken..

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Sticky Lemon And Thyme Monkfish

Meaty monkfish with a sticky, sweet and sour sauce. Flavoured with soy.

sticky lemon and thyme monkfish

I can still remember monkfish first appearing on restaurant menus in the early 90’s. For years it was just discarded by fisherman who were only interested in the species they could sell. And who can blame them they had to make a living after all.  it was once called a poor mans lobster, and maybe it still should given how much lobster costs.

But it was adventurous chefs putting monkfish on their menus that has made this once rarely eaten species one of our most popular fish dinners. We seem to have fallen in love with monkfish, though not for its good looks (do a google search or click here to see what I mean) I think this scarey looking sea creature has probably been on nearly every menu I’ve written, and I’ve cooked it in most restaurants where I worked.

The Americans call it goose fish. A unique name for a very unique fish. Its firm, meaty texture is quite unlike any other fish. It can handle some of the tougher cooking methods too and It’s ideal for a soup or a stew because it won’t flake apart like most of its fishy counterparts. Read More

Hake Kiev

Flakey fillets of hake, packed with a herb and garlic infused butter, then fried till crunchy and golden.

hake kiev

My original plan was to make this recipe with cod, but Fergal my fish monger had these beautiful fillets of thick, flakey hake. They looked so fresh that they might have just jumped out of the sea and onto the counter. So I just had to buy some.

Hake is now cheaper than cod but I can remember when the opposite were true. I suppose the laws of supply and demand mean that cod been the more popular has increased in price as the cod population has diminished. But you can make this dish with any large fillet of flakey white fish. Cod, hake, whiting or haddock would all work well.

This is a fishy version of the classic Russian dish that’s normally made with chicken and was really popular in restaurants during the 80’s. I made my first Kiev at age 15 when I had a job washing pots in a local steak house. Chefs been chefs they’d ring in sick or simply not turn up for work so I was often called on to do some of the more boring jobs.

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