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Murdoch books – 365 Challenge: Monkfish with beurre blanc

March 29, 2011 No Comments

Over the last 2 weeks I have cooked, baked till I can’t cook and back no more. My daughter, my husband and my mother all have birthdays within days of each other, and I know I am my own worst enemy, insisting on cooking and celebrating all of them equally, making them all special events. As a result the last 2 weeks has consisted of lots of planning and cooking for their special days. Why do I find birthdays so special…. I am not entirely sure but I always have put lots of emphasis on them. I think that maybe it’s because in my mind we are celebrating that persons life, their individuality and specialness on the earth. It’s also a way for me to show how much I love and appreciate them. Unfortunately having birthdays of the 3 closet and most important people in my life all in the space of days is hard work for me but I sure don’t shy away from a bit of hard work. I hope it means to them what it means to me.

I am sure you are all wondering what all the hell this babble has to do with my next 365 days challenge installment, well… the last thing I wanted after cooking hard core for the last 2 weeks was to have a recipe that was going to be so involved that I would risk going crazy… I am fragile after all that you see – hehe- …. and thankfully Stéphane Reynaud did not disappoint.

This dish is so yummy and so easy it’s not funny… I think it would impress anyone over for dinner. Not only does it taste yummy, it is rel

atively healthy, if you ignore the 150g butter in it :) and you can present it on a beautiful big platter for everyone to share as I have presented in my photos.  My in-laws are staying with us for a few days over Easter and I am always thinking of new and yummy re

cipes to cook for them while they are here and given it’s also Easter (as I only eat seafood from Easter Friday to Easter Monday) I want to have some new and easy recipes up my sleeve to share with them… this is now a new one on my list.

The hardest part of this dish is finding the (whole) Monkfish itself, naturally you can substitute it with another firm fleshed white fish (mild in taste) but I really loved the Monkfish. The monkfish I found was already fillets which I was happy with. The recipe does call for you to fillet it, so if you do buy it already flitted adjust the quantity as the whole fish will weigh more than the fillets alone. I probably bought too many fillets and as a result I probably needed more of the beuree blanc but regardless of this oversight on my part it got polished off pretty quick :)

Finding fresh broad beans can sometimes be a challenge too, unless you know someone who grows them in their gardens, but you can always find them in the freezer section in your supermarket. I grew up picking and eating broad beans from our lovely Italian neighbour. Lots of memories there for me but funnily enough I don’t often cook with them, so it was lovely to find a recipe to use them in.


1.2kg whole monkfish (or other firm-fleshed white fish)

200g podded fresh peas

200g green beans

200g snow peas

200g fresh broad beans (fava beans)

2 french shallots

200ml white wine

150g butter

olive oil

salt and pepper

How to

  • Remove the skin from the monkfish, take out the fillets and cut each into six chunks.
  • Cook the vegetables separatly in boiling salted water until al dente and refresh immediately by plunging into iced water.
  • Finely slice the shallots. Put the white wine on to boil, add the shallots and reduce until almost dry. Cut butter into cubes and whisk into wine reduction over gentle heat (this will ensure the beurre blanc had a creamy texture)
  • Reheat vegetables and pan-fry the monkfish in olive oil until just cooked through, season and coat generously with the beurre blanc.


Tags: , , , , 365 Challenge, 365 Good Reasons To Sit Down To Eat, Fish, French cooking, Monkfish with beurre blanc, Stéphane Reynaud

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