Friday, May 20, 2011

Food Fit for THE Queen: Roasted Monkfish & Sage Wrapped in Parma Ham

In honour of Queen Betty’s visit to Cork City today, I feel like I want to make something using ingredients from the English Market where she visited, and make something I would be confident (enough) to serve to royalty (eek!). So I came up with this roasted monkfish tail stuffed with sage leaves and wrapped in Parma ham. I’m attempting quite posh accompaniments also with my lemony white wine reduction, minted peas and crushed baked baby potatoes. It might be run of the mill fare for some people, but for me this is going above and beyond in the effort stakes.

Serves 2 (for example Queen Liz and Philip….)


For the Roasted Monkfish

  • 400g Monkfish tail, membrane and bone removed (ask the fishmonger to do this for you)
  • 5-6 fresh sage leaves
  • Sea salt &  white pepper
  • 6-8 Parma ham slices
  • Olive oil

For the Lemony White Wine Reduction

  • Juice and zest of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp of butter
  • ½ glass of white wine
  • ½ tsp fresh chopped sage and oregano

For the minted peas

  • 200g Frozen peas
  • Chicken stock
  • 4 mint leaves, chopped
  • Black pepper
  • 1 tsp butter

For the Crushed Baked Baby Potatoes

  • 7-8 Baby potatoes
  • Sea salt & black pepper


  • To firstly prepare the fish, make an incision in the side of the monkfish, the full length of the fish careful not to cut straight through
  • Put the sage leaves length ways in the incision
  • Season the fish with salt and pepper and rub with a little oil
  • Lay the Parma ham slices length ways, overlapping them to prevent gaps
  • Place the monkfish on the edge of the ham, and roll it over the ham, covering the whole monkfish in the Parma ham
  • Wrap the monkfish and Parma ham in cling film and allow it to firm in the fridge for 20 minutes

  • Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and once heated add the baby potatoes, washed and dried, to the oven on a tray to bake for 35 minutes
  • In a frying pan, add the oil and heat to medium
  • Add the monkfish fillet and sear on all sides for a minute, then transfer to an oven proof dish and roast in the oven for 10-12 minutes
  • Deglaze the pan of the Parma and fish juices with the white wine and allow to bubble continuously for 2 minutes
  • Turn the heat down, add the lemon zest and juice, herbs, and butter to the wine reduction and whisk briskly, set aside keeping it warm

  • For the peas, cook in boiling chicken stock for 4-5 minutes.
  • Drain and add salt, pepper, butter, and mint. Using a potato masher, crush 50% of the peas, stir and you should have a chunky consistency
  • Remove the monkfish when cooked (firm to touch) and cover with foil to keep warm
  • Using the same ‘technique’ for the potatoes as the peas, remove from the oven and smash gently with a potato masher for the ‘crushed’ look, season them and return to the oven for a final minute to get a crispy finish.

  • To plate up, in the middle of your plate, lay the minted peas. Cut the monkfish into 3 portions per person and lay on the peas. With a spoon, drizzle the reduction over the monkfish; serve with the baked baby potatoes.

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