On Monday night I was invited to Siena's new flat. She's just moved into the most divine place in Fulham and it was time I made the epic journey down to see it. She promised me a bed for the night to soften the blow of venturing so far South West. After numerous emails back and forth discussing supper ideas we finally settled on going to her new fish mongers and seeing what he had to offer and then we would take it from there.
Siena hosts dinner parties like no other. She is the queen of them! (I mean, I have yet to be invited to one but I'm not holding it against her, much) I'm always getting emails from her asking for new ideas or dishes and so this evening was no different for something easy she could whip up on a weeknight.
After finally getting off the tube we headed to the fish mongers to see what he had to offer. He had all but packed up and was waiting to close but was happy to help up. He had some pollock and monkfish, immediately a recipe came to mind and we opted for the monkfish. 2 hearty fillets for £10, an end of the day bargain!
We nipped to Sainsbury's to grab the last bits we needed. I can't remember exactly where I first saw this recipe but I have a sneaking suspicion it is a Nigella creation. Either way its super easy, can be prepared ahead of time and then whacked in the oven when it's time to eat.
For 2 people you will need:
2 monkfish fillets (around 150-200g each)
4 slices of Parma ham
We paired the fish with roasted baby new potatoes and a salad but really you could do any kind of side. Broccoli, mash, sweet potato, quinoa.... whatever takes your fancy really!
After a quick tour of the flat we headed to the kitchen to rustle up dinner. Siena popped a bottle of prosecco and I got to work.
Start by heating your oven to 220 degrees and if your having roast potatoes, pop them in the oven now as they take the longest.
Next pick your rosemary, say about 2 sprigs and chop it up finely and then grate the zest of one lemon over the top. Mix it together and et voila you have your crust!
Now grab your fish. The one thing with monkfish is that it comes with a membrane over the top of it that needs to be removed. If you don't, when it cooks it's as tough as anything! You cant really see it but it looks speckled grey. Its a bit annoying to take off but a necessity. Our fillets had been prepared by the monger and you can usually get them to do it for you.
Roll your fillets in the lemon rosemary combo, it should just stick straight to the damp fish.
Wrap the parma ham round the crusty fillets...
and your done!
You don't need to salt these guys as the parma ham is salty enough, plus lemon works as a flavour enhancer so essentially, the ingredients have seasoned themselves.
Cut them in half and pop them in a roasting tin. Drizzle with a little olive oil and your set.
Now these bad boys only need 15 mins in a hot oven (220 degrees) so its time to knock up that quick salad.
Baby gem, cherry tomatoes, asparagus and mozzarella, drizzled over with a basil infused olive oil and balsamic. Done in a flash!
By the time this was knocked up and we had laid the table, the fish and potatoes were ready.
From start to finish, including chatting time and waiting for the oven to heat up, this took us an hour.
It really couldn't be simpler and perfect for a dinner party. You could prep all the fish the night before, and then when the evening comes around you don't have to spend any time in the kitchen and therefore more time with your guests.
We laid it out on a platter here because I love a good family style service, it means that everyone can help themselves to as little or as much as they want. Plus on this plate, it looked kinda great.
So there you have it, a simple and tasty recipe but something thats also bound to impress your guests! I think people are a bit scared of cooking fish as it is so easy to get wrong but this little recipe is almost fool proof as long as you have a timer!!