Michael O’Meara, the talent behind Oscar’s Seafood Bistro in Galway, recently published one of the finest seafood cookery books I have seen, an absolute must for any seafood lover’s Santa list this year. ‘SEA Gastronomy Fish & Shellfish of the North Atlantic’ is a beautiful journey through the precious bounty we have surrounding our island with everything you could possily dream of from the sea. Here he shares this very tasty, and very pretty monkfish recipe.
Monkfish poached in saffron nage with langoustines, cockles and mussels
170g monkfish fillet, fully trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
5 fresh cockles in the shell
5 fresh mussels in the shell
3 langoustines, medium-sized
75ml turbot stock or fish stock
40ml white wine
40ml fresh cream
40g kale, lightly blanched and refreshed
40g spinach, lightly blanched and refreshed
4 sugar snap peas, lightly blanched and refreshed
1g powdered saffron
Sea salt and black pepper, freshly ground, to season
The French term à la nage translates as ‘while swimming’ and refers to cooking in a well-flavoured broth, especially suited to seafood cooking. The secret to a great nage is the use of superb stock made from the best flavoured bones, preferably turbot.
Into a stainless steel pan with a tight-fitting lid add the white wine, turbot stock and cream, and bring to a gentle simmer.
Place the monkfish, langoustines, cockles and mussels into the pan and cover with the lid; cook gently over a low heat for about 4 minutes.
Remove the lid, add the saffron powder and allow it to infuse through the nage.
Add all the green vegetables, replace the lid and cook for a further 3 minutes or until the fish is fully cooked.
When cooked, remove the fish and vegetables from the nage and place decoratively on a deep pre-warmed serving plate (ensure that the fish stays hot).
Turn the heat on to full and allow the nage to reduce by about half, and then add the butter using a whisk, do not allow the sauce to re-boil once the butter is added.
When the butter is incorporated, pour the sauce around the monkfish and shellfish and serve immediately.